The Internship Journey

02-24-14 kyle radtke-112Today’s blog post comes to us from Kyle R., a senior double-majoring in accounting and economics. Kyle is from Leawood, Kan.

When I was first looking at The University of Tulsa, the two programs that caught my eye were the International Business and Language program with Dr. J. Markham Collins and the Energy Management program with Ted Jacobs.  Since I wanted to continue utilizing my Spanish from my high school studies, I decided to pursue the IBL program.  As time went on, I changed my major five times and am now working towards degrees in accounting and economics.

I’m not going to lie. Freshman year I was so scared about interviewing for internships that I just procrastinated doing it.  Sophomore year, I bucked up and decided to try it out.  I had no idea how much work I would have to put into the process. I didn’t have a resume. I didn’t know how to interview properly. And I definitely didn’t know how to iron clothes to “look sharp”.  Thankfully, the Collins College of Business and Career Services offered programs to assist with all of these important aspects during the spring semester.   And here’s a good tip…for those of you who end up attending TU and major in business, get to know Caroline Fox in the business career center. She is very helpful!)

In a short time, I grew comfortable with the whole process.  However, entering the fall semester of sophomore year, I hadn’t actually interviewed live.  I wasn’t sure what to expect or what I wanted to do.

So I started with the career fair and it was amazing.  I met so many people at so many different companies. Because I was intrigued by the Energy Management program when I first toured campus,  I focused specifically on interviewing with oil and gas companies like ConocoPhillips, Chevron, and BP.  Ultimately, I decided on spending a summer in Tulsa interning with WPX Energy, an upstream oil and gas company, even though I wasn’t an Energy Management major and even though Kansas City (my hometown) does not have a true energy industry presence like Houston or Denver.  Ever since I interned in the land department at WPX, I have never looked back.

The land internship was incredible because I was able to garner so much knowledge in an industry that right now is booming. I couldn’t tell you how lucky I was to even be placed in the land department.  My experience was so wonderful that I decided to come back and do a second internship, even though I again looked at other accounting opportunities.  The second internship went so well that I was asked to stay on during the fall semester to assist with Revenue Accounting projects There is always plenty of work to do!

You may be thinking…okay Kyle, but why is this important to me?  Maybe you’re not accounting.  Maybe you’re not even in a business degree.  The point is simple: the journey to obtaining a summer internship requires work and effort.  You need to be uncomfortable to get to where you want to go.  You can benefit from having some type of employment while in college, whether it be part-time or internship work. One of the best quotes I heard during my summer internship was from the WPX Senior Vice President of Information Technology and Human Resources. She said to us interns at a lunch, “I never saw limitation to what I could do.”  If you can believe you can get somewhere, you already have an advantage.

My advice to you readers is to 1) find something passionate you want to do with your life, and 2) take the necessary steps to get there.  For internships, you’re going to have to draft a résumé.  You’re going to need to update your professional wardrobe. You’re going to have to walk up to people at career fairs that you don’t know and greet them with a smile and handshake.  You’re going to have to show yourself off in an interview room.  I promise that if you do these things, you’re going to be smiling with a paid internship offer letter.  Internships are one of the biggest ways to set you a part from others when you go out after college and enter the professional realm.  Because of TU, I was able to adapt to a standard that put me in a strong position to obtain full-time employment.  Coupled with a strong education and ability to participate in many clubs and organizations, TU has been a wonderful experience.  For that, I will be forever grateful.

Back to School Happiness

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Today’s Tuesday with Tulsa blog post comes to us from Meghana R., a biology major from Tulsa, Okla.

It’s back to school I go!

If I had to describe my summer in just 3 words… I couldn’t!  This summer has been a whirlwind experience for me, filled with all sorts of eye-opening opportunities and adventures.  So, how about 10 words instead?  Inspiring, challenging, perspective-altering, humbling, educational, playful, engaging, redefining, best-summer-so-far!  I know I went a little overboard, but I promise – it really was that amazing!  I interned at the University of Oklahoma School of Community Medicine, visited my sister in Boston, vacationed in NYC (I saw If/ Then on Broadway with Idina Menzel!  Ya know, she plays Elsa – the one who sings “Let it Go” from Frozen!), and caught up with old friends.  And oh yeah.  I took the MCAT.  No biggie (but actually I’ve been studying for it for an entire semester, so needless to say I’m thrilled that it’s over!).  To make a long story short, I finally figured out what I want to do with my life (to practice community medicine/ be a public health leader/ be an educator & advocate for social justice issues – kind of a mouthful, so I’ll have to work on coming up with a shorter title, haha) and had a pretty great time doing it. Continue reading

Back at Home on Campus

Brittany James

Today’s Tuesday with Tulsa comes to us from Brittany J., a sophomore mechanical engineering major from Lee’s Summit, Mo.

“At last, I’m home.”

Those were the first words I whispered to myself as the limestone buildings and university gates came into view after my four-hour drive from Kansas City to Tulsa. Growing up, the words “house” and “home” always had the same meaning. It wasn’t until I came to college that I began to realize while a “house” is a building that provides sufficient shelter, a “home” is the place that provides comfort, support, and overall makes you happy.  While I love my family and enjoy the time I spend with them, my home is in Tulsa (as much as it annoys my mother when I say that). I simply feel so happy here and completely free to be myself. That is in large part due to the friends that I have made. Nothing beat the feeling of reuniting with those friends after three long months of separation. Even though I was sweating non-stop during move-in thanks to Oklahoma’s good ole humidity, I never stopped smiling. Continue reading