Kristen Winte is a senior in the School of Business majoring in Marketing and Finance. Kristen is member of the Professional Business Fraternity, Alpha Kappa Psi. She is also involved with the F.I.R.S.T. Step program where she was a Teaching Assistant and will go onto be a Team Leader in the fall. Kristen tutors in the Athletic Department and works in the School of Communication. Over this summer, she works at Coconut Grove Bank as a Marketing Intern where she is able to gain an overall experience of working at a community bank.
Kristen was looking to stay in South Florida for the summer and knew this was an important summer for her to gain experience and explore whether she wanted to work in finance or marketing. She found an internship on HireACane that seemed perfect; Marketing in Finance. Shortly after she interviewed at the Toppel Career Center, had a second interview on site at their office in Coconut Grove, and received an offer upon completion of an assessment personality test. In this interview Kristen showcases her internship experience and tips for landing this incredible opportunity.
Question: What do you believe set you apart throughout the interview process?
Kristen: They mentioned to me that they liked the results of my personality assessment. Also, the Marketing Director is a UM alumna. I think they liked my leadership experience and involvement with the School of Business as well as my GPA. My director that hired me was in the business fraternity that I am currently in which was nice to have that additional connection.
Question: What is the culture like at Coconut Grove Bank?
Kristen: Everyone is so nice, everyone knows my name from the CEO to the cafeteria lady and even the security people know me. I love to go to work every day. I believe this bank truly has the community feel, like UM.
Question: What do you do on a daily basis?
Kristen: Because it is the summer I work an 8am-4:30pm daily. What I like most about it is the flexibility and diverse set of projects I have. I get to collaborate with other departments outside of marketing and build connections and relationships with people at the company. My director gives me the autonomy to come up with ideas and projects to help brand and market the bank.
Question: Talk to me about some projects you have done.
Kristen: One of the first projects I got to do was find a presenter and administer on the topic of Emotional Intelligence for a staff retreat this summer. My biggest project is planning the branch events. Each branch has a marketing event where I was able to meet with each branch manager and work on the logistics for each event. I also work a lot on the website and with different vendors to determine how to generate more traffic onto the Coconut Grove Bank website. I am learning how to write press releases and assist with social media. I have gotten so much exposure that I never thought I would prior to interning or going through the job description online.
Question: What do you like most about your internship?
Kristen: The encouragement and opportunities my director gives me. If I see an opportunity I want to pursue, she has me run with it and gives me the confidence to do so. She is so helpful and recognizes my work and sends me emails and tells me that my work doesn’t go unnoticed. It is really a great environment and the culture is a true community feel. I have never been at a company where everyone is smiling and always willing to help me.
Question: How has this experienced shaped your vision and next steps for post-graduation?
Kristen: I feel as though I have learned so much from this experience. Prior to working at Coconut Grove Bank I thought that because I was a finance major that I had to work at a big bank. This has given me a much better perspective on the advantages of a small bank and their community feel and flexibility. This has made me realize that it is important to be happy at a job, rather than focus on security or the name. I work a lot, but enjoy going in every day.
Question: What advice do you have to your classmates and underclassmen?
Kristen: Keep your options open and stay positive. Don’t get discouraged if you aren’t hearing back right away. Start early and utilize HireACane and On-Campus Recruiting.