Danielle Kinser credits her internship experiences for her success as a financial analyst at Union Pacific Railroad in Omaha, Nebraska. Kinser interned twice while earning an MBA from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.
“While I had work experience coming into the MBA program, it wasn’t what I would deem professional experience,” Kinser said. “In my internships, I learned how to prioritize work, balance it with school life and interact in a professional work environment. I also had the opportunity to interact with customers and exchange information internally.”
Her first internship was at Nanonation, a digital software company. There she developed their internal Sharepoint site. She learned many skills, but decided to explore other areas of business.
“I got a second internship at Neebo, the Nebraska Book Company, to see if a finance position was right for me,” she said. “I spent time running and analyzing weekly reports, as well as working on ad hoc projects where I learned ways to save the company money. Had I not done the second internship, I wouldn’t have had financial work experience and likely would not have gotten the full-time position I have now.”
Kinser hopes others looking to jump start their professional careers in the UNL MBA program consider an internship. In addition to preparing students for a career, many internships lead directly to jobs.
“If you have little work experience, it’s essential to intern to get that competitive edge when applying for jobs later,” Kinser said. “I’ve been helping with recruiting efforts at UNL for Union Pacific and I’ve witnessed first-hand how students with internships on their resumes are the ones who get interviewed. Also, many companies offer interns full-time positions after graduation. Regardless, internships let you see if a position is a good fit for you.”