Claire Foley '22 noticed from the very beginning of the Zoom meeting that the vibe was different than usual. She was only a couple of weeks into her marketing internship with Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) Association, but she'd already participated in several virtual meetings. This time, though, it felt different. She scanned the names under the 12 faces on the Zoom grid, then cross-checked them with the company directory. That's when she discovered the CEO and vice president were two of the faces she hadn't recognized. And then it was her turn to talk.
Foley found the paid internship opportunity while surfing LinkedIn. The post described Excel work and other responsibilities suited for a computer science student. Foley has some computer science experience, but it's not exactly what the marketing major was looking for. She applied anyway, and described her marketing background and interests in the application. Ultimately, CAIA decided to give the computer science internship to someone else, but then created a marketing internship specifically for her. Perhaps that's why, in a surprise meeting with the company's leadership team, the vice president looked across the screen, and asked Foley for her opinion.
The vice president had gone around the virtual room probing each team member for an opinion on how they would improve the company. Once every employee had answered, the VP turned to Foley, "Before we finish, Claire needs to talk." Foley knew the company was try to boost its retention figures. But instead of solely focusing on factors that explain why members leave, the company should start by considering why they join in the first place, Foley argued. Her boss told her after the meeting, "That was a really good point."
"It was a little scary. But I'm glad I had that opportunity to share my thoughts with the vice president."
When Foley began her internship this summer, she said there were some "weird" projects scattered about that no one really claimed. She jumped in, and started tackle anything and everything she could. It's a lot, but Foley intends to graduate in May, land a full-time marketing job and attend law school at night. She believes the experiences she's gained juggling multiple tasks for CAIA Association, and the confidence she's gained as an important voice in the room, will prepare her for the future in ways she couldn't have predicted before the internship began.
“I'm learning so much in every aspect of the business world. I think sometimes in college you can develop tunnel vision. In any particular class, you're only focused on one slice of the industry at a time. But during this internship, I've had to put it all together. Computer science, management, finance... all of the knowledge from each of those classes helped to prepare me for this opportunity."
Claire Foley '22