Amy Guo is a full-time MBA candidate graduating from UIC Liautaud next spring. Guo brings her combined backgrounds in business analytics and digital advertising to her marketing concentration at Liautaud. In this post, she shares her internship experience at BMO Harris from this past summer.In February of 2016, Jeff Wilson at the Business Career Center emailed us about internship opportunities at BMO Harris, so I took the first step toward applying, emailing the hiring manager at BMO Harris to share my resumé and a summary of the positions that interested me. They contacted me for an interview, and I proceeded through the next few steps; first, a phone interview with HR to discuss my resumé and my background, including my training, strengths, and interests, followed by a second round of phone interviews for different positions recommended by HR, and finally, an in-person interview with the manager overseeing the position I pursued. Throughout these rounds of interviews, the Business Career Center hosted mock interview sessions, which gave me invaluable practice, and GMARK and MBAA were helping me network and expand my internship options—valuable for the purposes of networking, but also because a wider array of choices takes some of the pressure off of any one interview process.
Obviously, a key part of finally landing the internship was choosing from among many options. I had to figure out what responsibilities each role at BMO Harris would entail, which skills it would develop, which connections I could make, and which opportunities it could open up. I knew I wanted to strengthen my skills in digital advertising and financial analytics, but I wanted to branch out from those skills, too; basically, I needed something that combined business analytics with more client-facing work. I ultimately took an analyst and project management role in the bank’s Treasury & Payment Solutions group, where I started in June of 2016.
The analyst side of the role drew on my data skills, but my involvement in the projects took me out of the back-end data work to the front end where projects are presented and new products are launched, so in the end I was able to check those boxes for new responsibilities and skills. As for the other elements, my boss eagerly introduced me around the company and invited me to a lot of networking events catered to my interests in marketing and project management, including an event hosted by a local marketing firm that works closely with BMO Harris (this one event alone expanded my contact list bigtime), so I can say I checked off the networking box, too. And, as UIC Business does for its students, BMO Harris regularly hosted guest speakers, workshops, socials, and community service opportunities for its interns, as well as resumé and interview workshops, all designed with the future of their interns in mind. The people I’ve met and worked with at BMO have been caring and helpful, and they’ve engaged me as a young professional with her career ahead of her. I’m grateful for how dedicated the company is to the future of its interns.
To learn more about internship opportunities for UIC Business students, visit the UIC Business Career Center.