UIC Business Scholar Alex Alderman, a finance major in his junior year, hasn’t wasted any time diversifying his resume. In the summer of 2015, Alderman began interning at Shiftgig. This summer, he moves on to an internship at BMO Harris. It all started by connecting with other Business Scholars. “Had I not been networking among the Business Scholars, I wouldn’t have gotten the Shiftgig job,” he says. “I was lucky to meet another Scholar who already had their foot in that door.”
Shiftgig, a rapidly expanding staffing startup, frequently recruits from the UIC Business Scholars program. Alderman’s work there has been concentrated in the company’s revenue functions. “Shiftgig’s app connects workers with jobs–a simple concept that comes with lots of billing activity,” he says. “I work with account managers on all the accounts receivable processes, which is more than just filing invoices. We recently acquired a company, for example, and had to move everything from Quickbooks to NetSuite. I got to work with accounting on that transition, a great learning experience.”
At Shiftgig, Alderman has led efforts to improve the company’s revenue reconciliation process. Spearheading such a project requires diving head-first into company culture, he says. “The company is growing quickly–from three cities to twelve, during my time here–and the mood in the office is always high-energy.” As with many startups, the work environment is collaborative, with lots of room for team members to pitch and pursue their ideas. In pitching his own ideas, Alderman has come to appreciate the professional development that the Scholars receive. “The soft-skills training we get in BA 100 has given me the confidence to lead in Shiftgig’s fast-paced environment,” he says.
Looking toward his upcoming internship with BMO Harris, Alderman knows he’s in for a big change. “Going from a startup to a large bank will be eye-opening,” he says. “It’s an opportunity to compare how these two kinds of organizations operate.” Alderman sought out the BMO Harris internship to further his own career goals, which lie in banking and consulting. He’s confident that the skills he’s picked up at Shiftgig will be valuable in his new work. “All that work in Excel, NetSuite, Quickbooks, coding in SQL–the technological literacy is a great asset,” he says, “but working directly with Shiftgig’s upper management is equally valuable. It’s improved my own leadership skills.”
Alderman encourages all UIC Business Scholars to take full advantage of their networking opportunities and start interning early. For more information about internships, visit the UIC Career Portal or make an appointment at the Business Career Center.