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Constructing A Summer Internship

By Polina Potochevska

Section: Features

August 25, 2017

For some, summer is the perfect time to relax and unwind after a long school year full of homework and studying. For others, like Renee Korgood ’20, it is the perfect opportunity to keep busy while also gaining work experience through a summer internship. Korgood hopes to major in History and Politics with minors in Legal Studies and French, and so this summer, she interned with OHL North America in New York City.

OHL North America is the North American division of Obrascón Huarte Lain, a contracting and construction company that is headquartered in Madrid, Spain. They specialize in the design and construction of highways, bridges, schools and more. Korgood interned for the branch based in New York City but says that there are projects “all over the country.”

On a daily basis at her internship with OHL, Korgood worked alongside the Communications Manager to maintain and update their website and social media pages. She also helped with handling and drafting all internal communications. Korgood mentioned she was tasked with “creating a plan to communicate [OHL’s] rebranding efforts to people in the company” and also coordinating meetings between executives to create a new mission statement.

Korgood found her internship with OHL North America through a family connection within the company. Her main goal for the summer was to be productive, but once she “got into the swing” of things, she added another major goal, she said. This new project was completing her rebranding plan, and the mission and vision statement that Korgood “took a lot of responsibility for.” While her latest task is not yet complete, she will be working part-time over the fall semester to “ensure its completion,” extending her internship into the school year.

Korgood said her most fulfilling achievement from the summer was creating a communications plan that was ultimately approved by the company. But a close second was designing an advertisement for the company that was published in a trade magazine. Korgood “took the featured photo, drafted the copy and designed the layout,” she said.

Having this type of work experience should help Korgood secure future positions, as well as help her in her extracurriculars at Brandeis, she said. As the Director of Public Relations for the Brandeis Academic Debate and Speech Society (BADASS), she will be able use her new communications skills to advertise the team and work with other clubs.

Korgood explained that she doesn’t think she would like to work permanently for a company like OHL, because “the industry isn’t something I’m deeply interested in.” Despite that, Korgood said that she learned a lot about communications, the construction industry and how construction affects urban communities like those in New York City. The internship helped her realize her love for communications, and she would consider taking a communications position at a different company.

For those who are considering applying for an internship in the future, Korgood says that it’s helpful to “be open to anything, and try not to pre-judge whether you will like the internship you’re doing.” Her own opinion of OHL changed over the course of the internship. Be open-minded, put yourself out there and don’t be afraid to ask for help, are some pieces of advice from Korgood. By setting goals and working hard to achieve them, you can craft a wonderful summer experience for yourself that is full of growth, learning and success, she concluded.

If you are interested in applying for a summer internship next year, Brandeis has many resources available through the Hiatt Career Center. You can arrange a meeting with a counselor to help brainstorm different possibilities for internships and put together your application materials. Their website also includes links to many internship posting sites and databases such as Handshake, and has updated information on upcoming job and internship fairs on campus.

Summer is the perfect time to relax under the sun, but it’s also a beneficial time to gain work experience and knowledge through internships without having to balance schoolwork on top of it. As Korgood learned, an internship can teach you many things about yourself and your interests as well as help you figure out preferences for future jobs and internships.

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