By Ademar Perez
You may be wondering how I got into the GET Immersion Experience (GET IE). Well if you ask me, it was no secret. Every time I reflect on my journey, I think about the scene in the movie Pursuit of Happiness when Will Smith tells his son “If you want something, go GET it. PERIOD.” Yes, it did take some hard work, commitment, and self-motivation to get there, but it was all possible.
The first time I learned about the GET IE was fall semester, sophomore year. A Syracuse alumni walked into my IST 195 (Intro to Information Technologies) class and spoke to us about her semester long internship at JPMorganChase. After her presentation, I was inspired to find out how I can follow her steps and earn the opportunity to be selected into this competitive program. As a sophomore at the time, I understood I had a full year to prepare my application, since it was offered for students with Junior standing. I had no clue how I was going to make it happen, but I figured I’ll stop by the iSchool undergraduate office the following day for more information.
I quickly discovered that there were three requirements for the GET IE:
1.) I had to apply for the Global Enterprise Technology Minor
2.) I needed at least a 3.0 GPA
3.) I needed to be a Junior
In my mind, I was flabbergasted at how easy it was to apply for the program. It seemed too good to be true because I already had a solid GPA and I understood this was my gateway into obtaining the GET Minor. In a matter of two weeks, I was accepted into the minor and I shared the great news with family/friends.
I felt like a champion until I was informed by the director of the program that a good resume and good interviewing skills were necessary if I intend to be selected for the GET IE.
For the next few days I began to get nervous because I wasn’t confident with the leadership and work experience I had on my resume. I was also intimidated by the thought of having to express myself in an interview setting. At this point, I was discouraged from taking steps towards my goals because I felt incompetent in my ability to achieve.
After weeks of negative thoughts, I finally decided to talk to someone about my concerns. This was the game changing decision that opened up doors for positive outcomes. Seeking mentorship from someone I trusted allowed me to build my confidence to go out and make use of the resources around me.
Good mentorship also pointed me in the right direction, as I was able to find leadership and internship opportunities on campus that allowed me to leverage my experience on my resume. Mentorship also helped me with my interviewing skills because it encouraged me to attend mock interview sessions via the career service office, to show up at career fairs, and take advantage of career readiness programs on campus.
When my junior year came, it was time to apply for the GET IE. After submitting my application and interviewing with a few companies, I accepted an 8 month internship with a top four Accounting firm in the IT consulting field. Up to this day, I look back and reflect on the steps I took to achieve this goal. It truly is a great feeling to acknowledge how vision and hard work can lead to accomplishments. You see, I told you there is no secret to reaching success. “If you want something, go GET it. PERIOD.”
What are some tips you can offer students trying to pursue internships during their undergraduate career?
Ademar Perez is a rising senior at Syracuse University, pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Finance and Entrepreneurship with a minor in Global Enterprise Technology. His extensive professional experience includes internships with prestigious companies, including Ernst and Young, JPMorganChase, and Bloomberg. A leader, he has also held executive board positions on campus with organizations like Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated, the OSS Student Advisory Board, and Los Colores. You can find him on LinkedIn!