By: Kayla Butler, Economics major- Class of 2012
When I began my academic journey in college, I already had a plan for my definition of success – study business, get involved on campus, find an internship, and network to build my résumé seemed like the right plan for grad school. INROADS was never in my plan, but, by happenstance and being at the right place at the right time, it has become a part of my destiny.
I first heard about the INROADS program at the Mardi Gras Invitational Career Fair. There, I learned that INROADS is an internship program that assists minority students in getting paid internships, while preparing them for leadership in their career and community. After learning about the program, I immediately applied. I was assigned a mentor and went through a series of prep sessions and interviews to prepare me for an actual internship.
My résumé was shopped around to hundreds of companies around the country. During the spring semester of my sophomore year, Chubb Insurance, Proctor and Gamble, and Travelers Companies contacted me, but Liberty Mutual heavily recruited me. After a series of phone and in-person interviews, I was offered a paid internship in Liberty Mutual’s Irving, Texas office.
To be honest, I was not excited about working in insurance at first, but something told me to take a chance and try it. For eight weeks that summer, I worked in Water Mitigation, Bodily Injury, and the Auto Claims Departments. My internship has been renewed this summer as a Personal Market Claims intern.
To say my internship experience has impacted my life is an understatement. This program has assisted me in my development from student to career woman. No one could have told me that I would spend my summers doing work in the insurance field. However, I am appreciative that I have been able to learn something new and apply my business knowledge to this profession.
The uniqueness of my situation is that I have been able to make the best of this internship experience and now find my niche in this industry. I am also in a position to secure a full-time offer after graduation. A career path I had never considered is now a major gateway to my future.
My internship with INROADS pushed me out of my comfort zone and taught me how to be effective in areas of uncertainty. Because of this experience, I feel prepared to excel in any future career I may choose and I see exciting opportunities in areas that once seemed dull and ordinary. I encourage anyone who is seeking to build leadership skills in a diverse environment, as well as gain experience in corporate America to apply for INROADS.
For more information, visit www.inroads.org.