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Daniels students share advice as they reflect on their summer internship experiences

It’s the first day of fall quarter at Daniels. Classes are back in session and the halls are buzzing with activity as students find their classrooms, greet one another and swap tales of summer adventures.

While some Daniels students spent their summer in class, fulfilling course requirements or taking electives, others pursued internships to gain work experience. We took a moment to catch up with some of the students who chose the internship route to learn more about what they did, why it was valuable and what advice they’d give to other students looking for similar opportunities:

Carolyn Themel

Carolyn Themel, Denver MBA student
Pathways Operations Intern at Amazon
“I was most excited about the experience. I know I want to work in operations, especially distribution. Working for Amazon this summer was an invaluable experience and I gained so much from a personal and professional development standpoint.”

Advice to students looking for an internship:
“Start EARLY! Everyone says it and we all roll our eyes and go about our business until it is April and you still don’t have an internship. If you know you want to work for a big company, look up and make a list of when they open and close application acceptance dates. Keep in mind, some close in November. Be focused and determined when applying.”




Drew Joiner

Drew Joiner, Undergraduate marketing major
Account Management and Sales Intern at Storyvine
“This opportunity at Storyvine was an extremely exciting internship for me because I feel, at Daniels, what we are learning in the classroom can bring real value to a company. I was excited to not only learn about how Storyvine conducts business but I was also excited to put some of the various things I have learned in my business classes into action in a real job setting. A few of the things Storyvine had me do was conduct competitive analysis research, find ways to automate their account process and learn the sales process. Overall, I learned so much about the company and hope to potentially become a full-time employee by the beginning of 2020.”

Advice to students looking for an internship:
“The greatest advice I can give to anyone as they navigate their search would be to start early! The advantage of starting early over the individual who tries to do things last minute is a major advantage in getting into the career or internship that you want. Something my grandma always said to me was, ‘Starting on time always beats fast running.’ This is true in a lot of facets of life and most certainly true when it comes to searching for internships and career opportunities.”


Ashley Hazel

Ashley Hazel, Undergraduate hospitality management major
Hospitality Real Estate Junior Analyst at McWhinney
“My internship at McWhinney has allowed me to explore a different facet of hospitality that I have not been exposed to in my classes so far. It opened my eyes to a different career path scope, and I began to understand and develop a passion for hospitality real estate. I have been exposed to real-life projects and got to assist in underwriting, researching and planning future pursuits for McWhinney. All of this has helped me to better understand the broader business and ownership aspects of hospitality, which will provide me with a more comprehensive knowledge of the hospitality industry that I can apply to whatever role I fall into after graduation.”

Advice to students looking for an internship:
“Utilize the resources that are available at DU. When you take the time to attend the events that they put on or meet with your advisor, then you will begin to find results and the perfect position.”


Enoch Addo

Enoch Addo, Denver MBA student
Digital Marketing Intern at the Gates Corporation
“Having come from a finance background in Ghana, this internship gave me the opportunity to work not only in a more digital work space but also to see firsthand what the ‘American work culture’ looked and felt like. I have learned more about how websites are run, the initial stages of setting up an e-commerce platform and the day-to-day decisions the people behind websites make. I was also privileged to observe these patterns, interview teammates and draw up a process that was going to help the business interact better with the digital team in the organization. As we always say, ‘The world is going digital,’ but over here [at Gates], I got to see it up close.”

Advice to students looking for an internship:
“Use all the tools that you can find. I was fortunate enough to have built connections in the organization after working with them on a project during the spring quarter. The truth is, opportunities come from anywhere, so be prepared and always put your best foot forward.”


Anya Otterson

Anya Otterson, Undergraduate business information and analytics major
Experiences Intern at Inspirato
“I worked in Experiences, which is essentially luxury group travel. Experiences runs primarily safaris and cruises around the world, so my job was a lot of preparation and organization for these exclusive experiences, as well as creation of future experiences. The best part was getting to work with such a fast-paced team at a really cool company. Everyone at Inspirato was incredibly welcoming to me and always willing to help me learn more not only about my team’s projects, but about other things throughout the company that I was interested in. It was a dream internship at my dream company, and it helped me figure out a little bit more of what I want to be doing after graduation.”

Advice to students looking for an internship:
“Apply to absolutely everything that looks remotely interesting, but definitely put more time into the applications that matter more to you. Also, it’s OK to hold out for something really good. You don’t have to settle for something you don’t want—the right thing will come along eventually. Also, make sure your cover letter and resume are perfect for each position you apply for. You don’t want to submit a cover letter to one company and realize you mention another company in it.”

Daniels students: Log in to Pioneer Careers to search and apply for jobs and internships. If you already have a job or internship, tell us about it so we can feature you.