Internship panel for students

On Wednesday, Nov. 18, a Corporate Internship Panel designed to help Bellevue College students learn about and participate in internships was held in room B228. Three companies were represented at the panel, Nordstrom, Boeing and Northwestern Mutual.

Efrain Moreno-Salamanca is the lead financial analyst for Boeing as well as a former intern for the company and an alumnus from BC. Jessica Shellan is the director of campus selection at Northwest Mutual and Dottie Young is the Nordstrom diversity program manager who brought along two employees who had been interns to share their own experiences. These companies are looking to hire Bellevue College students for paid internships in marketing, accounting, retail management, finance, IT, HR and other departments.

Representatives from Nordstrom, Boeing and Northwestern Mutual discuss tips for landing internships.
Representatives from Nordstrom, Boeing and Northwestern Mutual discuss tips for landing internships.

The internship for Northwest Mutual is “essentially test driving a position as an adviser,” according to Shellan. The internship lasts a year and new people are chosen each quarter. Shellan described it as a structured internship and emphasized that it is not about bringing people coffee or filing papers and is instead about getting someone in the door for a job in financial positions and the intern will become licensed and contracted. Part of the application process is to attend an informational session held in downtown Seattle. Following the session, Shellan will hold an interview with those who she thinks are the best candidates for the internships.

Young described several internship programs at Nordstrom in finance, marketing, public relations and more. Their biggest internship, however, is their retail management internship. The value in this, according to Young, is that everything in their business starts and ends with retail. “Once you have that exposure, there’s so many different areas of the business that interns can move into,” said Young.

Anybody interested in a Nordstrom internship can make a career profile on the Nordstrom website where they can post their resume. A Nordstrom intern will work alongside a department manager, and they will spend most of their time in retail, although they will have leadership activities and meetings with other leaders of the company. “The goal is to give people the foundation for creating their own business and to leave better than you arrived,” said Young.

Moreno-Salamanca encouraged aspiring interns to apply for bigger companies because they can help suit the intern based on what skills they have. As an intern, Moreno-Salamanca learned a lot about technology and traveled the country. He spoke of his newfound skills in management and finance, which was his major. In contrast to Nordstrom where an intern is giving the finished product to other people, “a Boeing internship provides much more vision to how a product is made,” explained Moreno-Salamanca. He also shared how he has benefited from his internship as he devoted his time learning skills at Boeing to become a successful employee there.

Furthermore, the three representatives gave tips on what good internship qualities are and how to develop them. For the representatives, its important that interns have the potential for leadership and sociability. On top of that, Shellan shared that during interviews she is looking for candidates that are willing to learn and who truly want to maximize their internship experience.