Name: Jake Steinerman
Graduation Year: Class of 2012
LSA Major(s)/Minor: B.S. Social Computing Informatics/ Certificate in Entrepreneurship
Job/Position Title or Description: Intern - Marketing, Communications and Collaboration BSA Services (Summer 2011)
Internship Organization: Nationwide Insurance
How did you learn about your internship?
The semester prior to my internship at Nationwide, a recent alum from my program in Informatics returned to campus to hold an information session about internships there.
What did you enjoy most about your work?
Informatics is a relatively new major at UofM, so the fact that I was able to have an internship experience that aligned really well with my both my studies and my interests was incredible. I loved being able to get some real hands-on experience with enterprise-level applications, and having my hand in on projects that were affecting the entire Nationwide organization. Combine that with getting the opportunity to work with very smart individuals, meet executives and discover a new city, and that adds up to very unique summer experience.
How did your experience shape your academic life when you returned to Michigan?
My internship at Nationwide introduced me to the concept of “enterprise social media”, which means using social tools to help large organizations connect their employees so that they can collaborate on a whole new level never before possible. Prior to this experience, I knew I enjoyed studying social media, but was not sure how I could apply it to a career. When I returned to campus, I was able to better present myself and my interests to company recruiters at the various career fairs on campus. The internship at Nationwide led me to pursue a career in enterprise social media - I now work full time on the Collaboration Services team at The Dow Chemical Company in Midland, Michigan (a position I heard about and applied to through the UMich Engineering Career Fair).
Have your career goals and plans changed as a result of this internship, or are they the same? Why? If they’ve changed, describe your new direction. If they’re the same, what excites you the most about this field?
Before I interned at Nationwide, I knew I wanted to work in social media professionally, but I was not sure exactly what that meant. The before my internship, I worked at a PR firm in New York City where there was a strong focus on traditional marketing. Nationwide widened my view of what a career in social media could be, other than working directly for the big social media powerhouses (Facebook, Twitter, etc.). It showed me that I could combine my passion for next generation social communication tools with the experience and resources of a large enterprise.
What advice would you have for a student considering doing an internship?
Be open minded - don’t go into a career fair with your sights set on one company. Know yourself and what really gets you going. An obvious passion for something can take you very far. Any specific skill sets you may need at a company or organization is something that they will show you once you’re there. Use college to explore those passions and grow them into something incredible.
Would you recommend your particular internship to a student in your field of study? Why?
I would recommend the internship I had at Nationwide - It gave me hands on experience right away, in a field I was interested in, and introduced me to many people. It helped me refine my focus regarding a career, and showed me things I would never be able to see in a classroom. (The financial perks were a great bonus as well)
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