|UMD fifth year senior, Jeremy Brown|
Jeremy Brown, fifth year senior in accounting at UMD's Labovitz School of Business and Economics, was determined to find a job after college, and his search started in high school. After getting advice from his aunt, he applied with an internship recruitment agency called INROADS, which trains students on how to become professionals and identifies internship placements for them. When INROADS replied to his application, notifying him that they did not offer placement for high school students, Brown’s plan was sent to the back burner.
A year and a half after sending his application, Brown received a call from INROADS and learned that he was accepted into the program. They found an internship opportunity for him with U.S. Bank in St. Paul, but the hard part of earning the position was up to him. Brown explains that the competition was stiff and it was a very intense interview, but a week later they called and offered him a position. He worked at U.S. Bank through the summer of 2011 as a financial systems analyst, where he updated reports and did a minimal amount of IT work. Brown was offered and accepted the same position for the summer of 2012, but he soon started questioning his choice of major – for a second time.
Brown, like many students, faced difficulty in selecting a major. Coming in as a computer science major, he soon realized that it was not what he wanted to do. “I liked the business aspect to programming more than making the program.” This led him to switch his major to computer information systems and technologies.
"After taking business classes in what was then my minor, I found a true interest," says Brown. Because of this lingering passion, he decided to change his major to accounting in the spring of 2013. While it was excellent that he had finally started a major he truly enjoyed, he was unsure what would happen when he was again offered the same position with U.S. Bank for the summer of 2013. "I explained that I had changed my major, and they actually ended up having an accounting position open in the same department that I had been working in."
After working through the summer, Brown transferred to the Duluth branch and started interning during the school year. His internship has given him great experience and has even helped him with most of his classes. Brown says, "I am a 'hands on' learner and actually applying the methods I learned in class helps me learn more than just imagining it in a book." Brown has also been offered position with U.S. Bank after graduation. After his first summer with the company, he received a letter from the CEO with a job offer.
Coming to UMD
Brown is originally from St. Paul, but his decision to attend UMD was a simple one. After spending many camping trips along the North Shore and in Duluth, he knew that it had a lot to offer. “It’s a beautiful city that offers both nature and a city life. I love that you can go to any high point in the city and see the lake. It is so different than St. Paul where you just see the buildings that make up the city.”
Although he loved the city of Duluth, starting school at UMD was a culture shock. After being used to the diversity of the big city, Brown felt a little lost. That was when he became involved with the Black Student Organization. “It is great to have people with similar stories and backgrounds as me. These people are like a second family to me,” says Brown. His involvement in the Black Student Association has not only given him great relationships, but also life experience through service projects and hosting social events. “I hosted the Soul Food event, and it showed me some of the skills and potential that I have.”
Advice to Students
Brown stresses to his fellow students the importance of finding an internship in college. "It used to be that not everyone had the opportunity to go to college, so having a college degree set you apart. Now, the number of people with college degrees has increased so much that you need more than a degree to set you apart. You need experience." He further discloses how his internship helped him learn more about himself. "My internship made me realize that my true passion lies in business."
Brown's best advice to students looking for an internship of their own is to "be persistent." He says building rapport and creating strong relationships will be their biggest advantage when looking for an internship and finding a job after graduation.
Written by Katherine Revier Feb. 2014