by Pallavi Pal

“It’s not about you; it’s about those who go before you and those who come after.”

This was our daily mantra for the twelve week internship program that I took part in this past summer. Being a part of SEO, a well-respected and highly esteemed internship program, was an experience that I wasn’t sure if I would be ready for.

Let’s back track to Fall 2010. At that time Toppel hosted an SEO recruiter for the first time. One of the advisors kept encouraging me to attend the information session; however, I felt that I was under qualified. After a few weeks, I changed my mind and thought it wouldn’t hurt to apply. So apply I did.

Three interviews and many stressful weeks later, I received a congratulatory letter from SEO. I was thrilled and, honestly, quite shocked. Reading about their low acceptance rate (3% this past summer) and hearing about the prestige these three letters, SEO, is associated with made me feel uncertain as to whether or not I really was qualified for the position.

Amongst their many partners, I was given the opportunity to intern at Moody’s Corporation, the credit-rating agency. After getting my acceptance into Moody’s, I had to complete eight more interviews for placement within Moody’s. Not only were the eight interviews mandatory, but also the several online training sessions that in total equaled around fifty hours prior to the start of the internship were necessary to complete.

After jumping through so many hoops, I was nervous and scared to start my internship program. By no means was the in-person training a walk in the park, but I came to realize how much SEO has invested in me and how much I was receiving from the program. The internship not only improved my professional persona but also helped me mature and grow as a person. There was a renewed sense of self-motivation and confidence that I garnered through the internship experience.

Without SEO I would not have received all the tools needed to succeed in the Moody’s internship that I was placed in and I would not have been able to secure a job offer in this uncertain economy. I have much to be grateful for and the quote still rings in my ears: “It’s not about you; it’s about those who go before you and those who come after.”

It really isn’t about me but rather all those who have come before me to ensure that the program grows and all those that I help to come after me. This was a once in a life-time opportunity and I have SEO to thank for believing in me enough to give me a chance.

For those of you interested, there are two upcoming information sessions to meet the SEO recruiter and learn more about the internship process: Tuesday, September 20 at 6:30 pm in the UC Flamingo Ballroom as well as Wednesday, September 21 at 3:00 pm in the Toppel Library. We hope to see you there!