#MySpartanSuccess Interview with Jessica Freeman
Written by Laurie Child
Ever consider an internship? Hear from current STAC junior, Jessica Freeman who is currently interning with Sterling National Bank at their headquarters in Montebello, New York. Jessica is expecting to graduate the spring of 2017 whilst working toward a Bachelor of Science in Finance. She began her internship in September 2016 in tandem with the fall semester (a program that earns 12 credits) and will work through December. Jessica was informed about the position and program by her finance professor, Dr. Trendafilov; he then referred her to Mary Vota along with the Career Development Office who explained the process and what the program entailed. We asked Jessica to explain the interview process to us. “Before I could be interviewed, I had to fill out an online application and submit my resume. Once I was successfully screened, I was called in to interview by the liaison to Sterling as well as the heads of the credit, accounting and ops departments. They asked me a series of questions about my academic record and my goals for the future”. This internship program is very competitive, and involves many screening processes. Jessica explained how, “Mary Vota was beyond helpful, she was always available to answer any questions I had about the process”. Jessica expresses the importance of connecting with your professors, stating that, “If it wasn’t for Dr.T recommending this program to me I would have missed out on this fantastic opportunity”.
Jessica currently splits her time between the Credit and Finance Department at Sterling. Some of her responsibilities include: spreading financial statements, pulling credit reports, and performing due diligence on potential clients. Her favorite aspect of the internship is performing due diligence, “I like investigating clients and looking for their online presence”. One of her favorite experiences so far was meeting the CEO of Sterling, Jack Kopnisky and explains how, “He is a great leader and has grown the company immensely since he has taken over”. Jessica loves her internship at Sterling, and emphasizes how much she has learnt so far and how good of an experience it has been. She is currently in the interview process for a summer internship as an Analyst and is hoping her current internship will increase her chances for consideration.
The importance of networking is magnified in the current job market, and sites like LinkedIn enforce this. It is important to always be professional and make as many professional contacts as you can. You will never know who and how someone may be able to help you. We asked Jessica what advice she would give to current STAC students looking for a job or internship? “My advice to another student at STAC looking for a job or internship would be to take advantage of the Career Development Office as well as to build professional relationships with professors. If you are able to establish a relationship with a member of faculty, they will often think, and refer you to positions that they hear become available”.