Honors Student Reflects on Internship with FirstEnergy

Applies Knowledge of Software Program Learned in the Classroom to Internship Assignment
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Paige Gamin, Honors College junior, wearing a mask at home.

Paige Gamin is a junior Kent State Honors College student from Medina, Ohio, majoring in finance, with minors in accounting and economics. Paige first began her internship search when she heard that her Fall Semester 2020 classes would be remote due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Though she has since adapted well to the remote learning atmosphere, Paige notes that, initially, it was more challenging for her to retain information from online lectures. As such, Paige decided an internship would be a great way to learn important finance principles outside of a class setting. After using Handshake, an online job board, to find several internship opportunities, Paige applied to a remote internship position with FirstEnergy, the electricity corporation with companies servicing the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic regions. Within a few days, Paige had heard back from FirstEnergy, completed a virtual interview, and was offered the position.

When asked what past experience prepared her for the internship at FirstEnergy, Paige credited her finance and accounting courses at Kent State. Throughout her internship, Paige was asked to use several software programs which she had not previously encountered. One such program was SAP (Systems, Applications, and Products in Data Processing), an accounting software program that FirstEnergy planned to train Paige in. Before she began working with the new system at FirstEnergy, however, Paige’s Intro to Accounting Systems class had introduced SAP, so that when she started using the software at FirstEnergy, Paige was already familiar with the system. “It was nice to be familiar with one of the softwares,” Paige says, recalling that her knowledge of SAP gave her more confidence in her abilities.

Aside from her courses, Paige says her extracurriculars also prepared her for the internship at FirstEnergy. A member of Delta Sigma Pi, Paige recognizes the business fraternity for strengthening her interviewing skills. She also notes that the fraternity equipped her with professionalism, which helped her make a good impression at FirstEnergy and gave her the self-assurance to ask clarifying questions on the job.

If she could offer any advice to other students interested in internships, Paige recommends utilizing all available resources. If you have a connection in the company to which you are applying, email the person, letting them know that you are applying and asking if they have any advice. Even if you do not know anyone at the organization, Paige notes that many companies list the names of their employees on LinkedIn, as well as the schools from which they graduated. You can set the page to only display Kent State alumni working at the company. From there, write a brief email explaining that you are a Kent State student hoping to intern with the company, and ask if they could offer you any advice as a former student. Paige comments that “people in today’s work force want to help college students” in the workplace. Experienced workers know that students who ask questions are eager to learn, and Paige says that established employees are eager to help and teach the next generation of workers.

Reflecting on her time at FirstEnergy, Paige is the most grateful for the connections her internship afforded her. She is pleased that she reached out to many employees at FirstEnergy during her internship and asked to connect with them during breaks throughout the workday. Those connections not only helped Paige excel as an intern, but they also could be beneficial to Paige in her professional future. Interning at FirstEnergy was an important experience for Paige, and she hopes to use the skills from her time at FirstEnergy to apply for an internship with a large bank in the summer of 2021.

If you would like more information about internship opportunities, please contact the Department of Career Exploration & Development.

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PHOTO CAPTION 1: Outside view of Johnson residence hall.

PHOTO CAPTION 2: Paige Gamin, Honors College junior, wearing a mask at home.

Media Contact: Stephanie Moskal, smoskal@kent.edu, 330-672-2312

UPDATED: Friday, June 21, 2024 02:21 PM
WRITTEN BY:
Olivia Wachtel, Honors College Writing Intern