Donna is definitely the highlight of the entire internship. She is the boss, but also a mentor and a friend to all of us. She is very experienced in the finance industry; however, she is equally devoted to education. To me, Donna is never the high profile finance officer who is always too busy to talk, but a mentor who truly wants to help us to become successful in our careers.
As a boss, Donna has a high expectation for work ethics and quality of the deliverables. If she sees interns dressing inappropriately in the office or doing irrelevant things at work, she will point out directly. She requires all interns to reply to her email upon receipt and to always be prepared before meeting with her. I was little intimated at first, but later I found her high standard really helped me transform from a student into a working professional. Thanks to Donna, I have now gotten into a habit of reading news on my way to work, planning my time carefully, and always getting prepared to talk about the progress of my project.
Outside of work, Donna is a mentor and a great friend. She is very open about her career path and professional experience. She likes to share her personal stories with colleagues and things she encountered at previous organizations during lunch breaks. Although Donna is in my mom’s generation, she knows just as much about social media, selfies, and new technologies as any twenty-year-olds. We had a lot of fun taking pictures, ordering food and doing online shopping during breaks. What is truly amazing is that Donna also loves ballet and we even met for two ballet performances at Lincoln Center after work. I feel very lucky to have a mentor like Donna who is very senior in the industry but so easygoing as a person.
I would also like to thank Heather for making this opportunity available and coordinating this wonderful internship program. Heather provided coaching sessions to help interns improve our communication skills. Complementing Donna’s technical training, Heather’s soft skill workshops helped us realize how international students are received by Americans in professional settings. I think this cultural awareness is extremely important for us to improve our performances not only in interviews but also at work in the future.
The past six weeks has been a whirlwind of work and fun. I am very grateful that we got to meet each other and our paths crossed. It is hard to say good bye but I am sure we will meet again in the near future.