Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and background?
I am currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance at The Ohio State University with an expected graduation date of May 2017. Before I worked at FCA (Fiat Chrysler Automobiles), I interned as a financial analyst at Amazon.
What made you choose this career path?
There are many reasons why I chose Finance as a career path. It is a field lush with great earning potential and rewarding career options in a wide range of industries. Anyone can get a business degree or do accounting, but in order to be working in a finance career you must be outgoing and inquisitive. I just feel like it is a great fit for me.
How did you come across this internship?
I came across FCA at Ohio State’s career fair. I wasn’t originally looking at interning there nor am I a car buff, but they seemed to have a lot of great opportunities so I figured I might as well attend their informational session.
Can you tell us about your role?
I worked on the U.S. Pricing team at FCA. There, I executed a Market Basket analysis for all 30 FCA nameplates in the U.S. market. This analysis identified the main competitors for 2016 Model Year vehicles based on a quantitative analysis using key metrics and agreed upon weighting. I presented results to Brand Marketing and finalized the list of competitors to be used in the monthly competitive measurement process. Most of the data was pulled through tools specifically built for FCA (no coding skills were needed). All analysis was done through Excel.
What was the company culture like?
FCA has evolved into an amazing company that has potential for advancement and truly takes care of its employees. The company as a whole has innovative and interesting products in the market as well as many years to come with future products. However, like many large global companies, it is easy to get lost in the mix and forgotten. I also got the feeling that many employees were almost too content with their position. Many have been there 25+ years and the need for innovation and creativity is definitely prevalent.
What was the highlight of your internship experience?
The highlights of my internship involved the many intern events held by FCA. We were able to tour the science labs, drive new vehicles on the test track, and also have a two-hour Q&A with the CEO. FCA provided numerous networking events to learn about the different divisions within the company. Even as an intern, I was able to gain insights into other areas of finance through presentations and interviews with senior leadership.
Is there anything you wish your internship program could have improved on?
Yes, there are definitely things that could be improved about FCA’s program. I wish I could have had more control over what project I would be executing during my time. It was assigned to me on Day One without much room for discussion. They gave me instructions on how to execute the analysis without much concern of my ideas or creativity. Many interns there felt like their work wasn’t as valued as a true employee. In my experience, anything I did had to be double-checked by my manager or a team member before being presented. Although I understand this caution, I would have appreciated more trust.
How does this internship help you in your future?
Through this internship, I gained clarity on my strengths, weaknesses, and interests. For example, I realized that my communication skills were lacking. By interacting with others in a professional environment, I had many opportunities to become a better communicator. This internship also allowed me to see roles that I would and wouldn’t enjoy doing in the future. Not to explore specifics, but having the opportunity to work for a company and set up interviews with senior leadership gave me better direction in my career goals.
If you could give advice to a student seeking a similar prestigious internship, what would you tell them?
I would give them three pieces of advice. First – Get involved! Companies understand that you may not have work experience. If you don’t feel qualified, try to get involved in an organization/club. In my case, FCA was willing to take a chance on me because of the leadership positions I held on campus. Second - take the time to apply everywhere, you never know what may happen. Third thing - It never hurts to ask. Never did I think an employer would help work around my schedule, I was able to work six months at Amazon and then ten weeks at FCA back-to-back.