Today marks the last day of the last summer internship of my college career. It’s been a crazy ride, but I am glad it got me here.
This past Summer I interned at a Financial Technology company named Stone Co., one of the most influential companies in Brazil. This internship had very close to nothing to do with my major, Chemical Engineering, but if you ask me, that is one of the best parts about this experience.
I got hired to work as a Data Analysis Intern under the company’s Operations branch. My duties included using Excel and SQL in order to merge datasets from different branches of the company into one data warehouse (Google BigQuery) in order to optimize data analysis through Google DataStudio. And I hated it!
I once had a USC Career Advisor tell me that internships are the best way to figure out what you don’t like to do, but I never fully understood what they meant by that until this Summer. It took me a while to admit to myself that I actually did not like my job at all and coming to terms with that was really hard. There was one day that I woke up and realized that I would prefer to do anything over opening my computer and start working, and I decided to come clean about that with my boss.
I talked to multiple people in the company about how discontent I was, and they were all beyond understanding. At the end of the day, they just wanted for me to have a positive experience as a Summer intern, and they suggested reallocating me to a different branch of the company.
I was then switched over to the company’s Talent Acquisition branch. I was now responsible for running a project in which I used data analysis in order to study the company’s issue with talent retention. This project allowed me to perform quantitative and qualitative analysis using both my technical and soft skills in my studies. I found a very supportive team that motivated me to come to work every single day, as well as an opportunity to work on my interpersonal communication skills, which I didn’t get to explore at all when I was working in the Operations branch.
Even though my internship had nothing to do with Chemical Engineering, it opened up a whole new career path for me to consider. I found new skills that I am both good at and enjoy applying in my daily tasks. It also allowed me to improve some of my technical skills (such as Excel for advanced analysis), that will also be applicable for my career as a Chemical Engineer in the future.