Nick Schmidt '19 found an area of interest for his future career during his internship

Mount Mercy students gave @mtmercy Snapchat followers an inside look at their internships. We saw hectic schedules, sat through meetings, met coworkers, and learned why internships are essential. We wanted to know more, so we asked students about the application process, work atmosphere, favorite experiences, and advice for future interns. 

Nick Schmidt '19 | BBA Finance & ManagementNick Schmidt ’19 | BBA Finance & Management

MMU: Tell us more about your internship—company, department, etc. What was it like?

NS: I did a summer internship at Cedar Rapids Bank and Trust. I was a credit administration intern in their credit department. I started doing underwriting with loans to help the credit analysts. I looked at financials to determine how strong the borrower was and other factors. I was also given special projects to work on, including getting documentation ready for different banks and helping implement new software. The day-to-day was always different and there were always new things to do. It was fun, pushed my knowledge, and made me think critically, while also making me think outside the box.

MMU: How did you learn about the internship and what was the application process like (applying, interviewing, etc.)?

NS: I previously worked at the bank. I’ve worked there since 2016 as a teller. In 2018, I was the wealth management intern at the bank, and after that internship, I wanted to see what the credit department was like. The following year I decided that I was going to apply for the credit internship to see which department I liked more.

MMU: Why did you choose this internship? How do you feel it will benefit your future career?

NS: I chose the internship because it seemed interesting and fun. To some people, looking at numbers all day and trying to understand all the different nuances behind them doesn’t seem fun. It might sound horrible, but to me it seems fun.

The internship has already helped my future, even though I’m still in school. It let me dip my toe into different areas of work to see if the job would be a good fit for me. It’s also helped me understand how the real world after college works. It gave me a lot of different perspectives that I couldn’t learn in school. It’s helped me narrow down what type of job I want after college.

MMU: How would you describe the work atmosphere in five words?

NS: Amazing, fun, creative, exciting, and nice.

The people I work with are just so smart. They want people to succeed at what they are doing. The culture makes you feel like part of the team even if you are just an intern. There were so many new things to do, so many learning opportunities, that it didn’t seem like work. I realized I was having fun with what I was doing. Having special projects, I didn’t have a lot of direction. It was just, “hey, here you go, see what you can do” and that was awesome.

MMU: What was your favorite experience while taking part in your internship? The most surprising?

NS: My favorite part of the internship was the people. Working with everyone and all their different personalities was fun. Being able to come to work and look forward to new problems and tasks that would challenge me and push me to be better at my job was great.

The most surprising thing was how much I enjoyed what I was doing. Expanding my knowledge in finance and banking was something I never realized could be so fun. 

MMU: What did you learn from this internship that you didn’t know before? What skills did you acquire during this internship?

NS: I knew that soft skills were important, but I learned just how important they are in the professional setting. You have to be flexible, know how to communicate, and be willing to work in a team. I also acquired a better understanding of technical skills that I already learned at MMU, cashflow analysis, the importance of debt, how leveraged is too leveraged, and more. I also acquired a better knowledge on what soft skills I need to work on.

MMU: Do you feel like internships are important? Why?

NS: Yes, 100%. Everyone should do at least one before they graduate. It shows you what that field is like after college. It lets you dip your toe in the water before getting a job and see if you actually like it. If you don’t, that’s fine—you’re only there for a couple months. Then you can go back to the drawing board and try and find something you do like.

MMU: What advice would you give to future MMU interns?

NS: Don’t be afraid to ask questions, to mess up, and to look like you don’t know what you are doing. There were people that I worked with that have been there for years that needed refreshers on things. Being in college or coming out of college, you might think you know everything. You don’t, and that’s fine. No need to be hard on yourself, just be open to continuously learning new things.

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