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Business Students Leverage Internships to Land Jobs Before Graduation

Sophie Forstein and Chase WestenfelderFor many college students, jumpstarting a career after receiving a degree is the end goal. However, for ambitious go-getters like Sophie Forstein '19 and Chase Westenfelder '19, waiting until graduation is not soon enough.

Nearly one year before obtaining their business degrees, both Forstein and Westenfelder secured full-time positions at J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. and J.P. Morgan Private Bank, respectively, by interning.

The impressive pair were two out of seven School of Business students given Internship Awards by the College of Charleston Career Center during the 2017-2018 academic year. The award provides students with professional development training and also helps eliminate potential financial barriers with monetary stipends.

“It took a huge burden off of my shoulders and allowed me to focus on my internship rather than the cost of living in NYC,” shares Forstein, an Accounting major.

With laser focus and a slew of technical skills under her belt thanks to the b-school’s ready-to-work curriculum, Forstein interned as a summer corporate analyst with J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. where she researched, analyzed and compiled global threat assessments on potential risks to firm assets and personnel.Sophie Forstein at JP Morgan Chase

A short distance away in New Jersey, Westenfelder, who studies Finance at the College, worked in the wealth management division at J.P. Morgan Private Bank alongside bankers and helped develop business growth strategies for untapped markets in the region.

"The Private Bank works with many lines of businesses to provide a holistic client experience. This provided me with an opportunity to communicate with people doing all kinds of jobs. It was really eye opening,” shares Westenfelder.

At the end of their internship programs, both students accepted offers with their companies after graduation. The transition is expected to be smooth since they will be performing the same duties they did as interns, only now as full-time employees.

“Good internship programs will give you a taste of what the full-time position is like,” says Westenfelder. 

Westenfelder credits Finance professors Mark Pyles, Ph.D., Jocelyn Evans, Ph.D. and Daniel Huerta, Ph.D.— along with his involvement in the Investment Program — for successfully preparing him for the internship by encouraging him to be the best version of himself.

Forstein also attributes her involvement in School of Business programs and clubs such as the Investment Program, Women in Business Club and Phi Chi Theta for preparing her for the experience.

“Like many things, I think the more that you put into the School of Business, the more you get out,” says Forstein.

With 97 percent of our undergraduate students securing jobs after graduation, it is safe to say that our students are getting quite a lot out of the School of Business.

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