What I Did This Summer: Financial analyst intern
"What I Did This Summer" follows a number of University of South Carolina students as they work, travel, and explore the world during the summer. Many of them blogged about their adventures. This is the thirteenth story in the Summer 2010 series.
In late May, Jackie Parnell walked into the Honors College to say goodbye to his professors for the summer.
He walked out with a summer internship.
"I interned in the finance department at First Citizens Bank on Main Street in Columbia, and I learned so much every day I was there," said Parnell, a third-year finance major who is minoring in computer science.
"The finance department is like the brain of the company. It receives all information from every branch in South Carolina and Georgia. People in the department then analyze that information and pass it on to the corporate office so they can make strategic decisions for the bank."
Parnell's summer experience began with Beth Hutchison Watson, director of internship programs for the South Carolina Honors College. She casually asked him what he was doing for the summer.
Jackie Parnell was a little kid when he first said he wanted to go to USC.
"Both of my parents graduated from USC, and we were sitting in the stands at a Carolina football game when I announced I was going to Carolina. I was five years old.
"Once I grew up, I found that USC has a very good business school and an interesting Honors College. That made it an even better option for me."
That little boy who sat in the stands has been on the President's 4.0 List every semester of his college career. He is a National Achievement Scholar and a Carolina Scholar. And he was crowned the 2010 USC Homecoming King.
"As I talked with Jackie, I realized he would be a perfect fit for the great internship opportunity that First Citizens Bank has established," Watson said.
"We talked about it and I told him right then, ‘I think this is the one for you.' He interviewed with them and they realized immediately that he would be a great addition to their team for the summer.
"We love to see our students get this type of learning opportunity where they can experience real-life work," she said. "I think it helps them shape their ideas for their career future. It is part of their complete education."
For Honors College students, it is also a requirement. There are four ways students in the Honors College can satisfy their learning beyond the classroom requirement: study abroad, research, service learning, or internship.
Parnell supports the additional Honors College requirements.
"After you graduate, having a 4.0 GPA can land you an interview," he said, "but I believe an employer wants to see that you've filled up your resume with internships and experience."
More 2010 "What I Did This Summer" stories
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