Alessia Filutze (Class of 2019)
Please share your experiences as a student ambassador at GEICO.
This role entails me sharing my experiences that I had through the internship with other students, as well as coordinating my own events on campus in hopes to have other students get the same opportunities and experiences that I did!
During the internship, most of what my focus was on was developing my leadership skills and presentation skills. The other interns and I were tasked with several different real-world problems that GEICO had been facing and looking to improve. We had to meet with employees such as a phone agent, manager, or VP to collect information and look for new and innovative ways that we interns felt would help the company grow. It was especially important that they hear our ideas considering we offered more of an 'outside perspective' of the company as well. Not only did I present ideas and recommendations to a multitude of different employees at GEICO, but I also had the opportunity to create many professional connections, something that helped me a lot throughout the internship.
What new skills did you acquire during your internship with GEICO?
What really interested me in the internship at GEICO was their immediate focus on my ability to present in front of some of the Buffalo office's top managers. It was definitely a large push out of my comfort zone, but I cannot be grateful enough that I had to present as much as I did. I am so much more confident in my abilities as a professional now because of it. I also got to have a platform to highlight my abilities as leader, and show that my hard work in school and in other activities outside of school allows me to really stand out among the crowd.
The most important thing I've learned from the internship is to be confident. It can be overwhelming entering a professional environment with a group of people you don't know, but as time went on I've made some of the best friends and great professional connections. I'm so much more confident in my abilities an am not afraid to ask questions and improve. GEICO really helped me to prioritize my confidence level, and I think that's something that everyone in the business world will need in order to succeed!
What advice would you give to Niagara students about internships?
My advice to those looking for internships: don't be afraid to apply for an internship that may not be directly related to your major. Since I was an economics major, I was nervous about the GEICO Internship not being directly related to what I had been studying in school. I couldn't have made a better choice. I have developed more skills and improved much of my abilities from this internship program. I can 100 percent say that I am more prepared to enter the professional world now than I was before.
What are your plans after you graduate in May?
At the conclusion of my internship, I interviewed for a full-time position at GEICO, for their Management Development Program. This program offers a fast track training into supervisor and management positions and, fortunately, I got the position! I accepted in September and am very excited to start full-time with them upon graduation. It's also an amazing feeling to know that I have a secure career waiting for me once I graduate.
Additional note: GEICO's Internship is on Handshake and I encourage all junior business majors to apply!