Today, July 26th, is #NationalInternDay! We at WU, want to celebrate our interns and all they are doing to grow as professionals and help shape the future of Western Union!
WU has as tradition of providing paid internship opportunities across the company and throughout the year. Our business groups set actionable goals for interns, whether they are working on short-term activities with targeted timelines or participating in long-term projects with many moving parts, of which they might not see the results during their time with us. “At WU, we believe in supporting our future leaders with unique opportunities to jumpstart their careers through our global internship program. Their fresh perspectives and diverse backgrounds are critical in helping us drive innovation and move money for better!” – WU Chief Human Resources Officer, Richard Williams.
The individuals pictured below are just a small portion of interns currently sitting with us across Europe, Latin America, and the U.S. Given they all have diverse roles across different businesses, we asked each of them to share a WU highlight from their internship thus far.
Keeping our eyes and ears open to our WU interns’ unique perspectives offer new ways of looking at business and customer issues as well as developing and improving products for those that are and will be using our services in the future.
For instance, Yidi Xu, Flora Lee, Sanjana Simon, and Shivi Kundra (pictured right at WU HQ in Englewood, CO) have a unique internship. These four ladies, from Northwestern University in Chicago, were selected as part of a group internship with our Product & Marketing team. Together, they are working to improve and potentially increase customer demand and fuel business growth for the North America region of Western Union. I had the opportunity to learn a little bit more about their internship experiences:
Question: What personal or professional goals did you set out to accomplish during your time at WU?
Yidi Xu: “I set out to apply my data analytic skills that I’ve been learning at Graduate school to practice during my internship at WU. So far, I’ve been extremely satisfied on how the project is shaping up in terms of the use of data and the emphasis it lays on new data management tools.”
Flora Lee: “I set a goal to learn the business and identify challenges in a short period of time and provide strategic recommendations that help improve the health of the company.”
Question: What advice do you have for future students when preparing for internship interviews?
Shivi Kundra: “Pick the project over the company. Working on an interesting and challenging project is a very rewarding experience when you get to apply your theoretical knowledge to practice.”
Sanjana Simon: “During your interview, delve deep into the project you could be working on and ask questions related to that. This shows keen interest in the company and provides the opportunity for you to demonstrate how your skills can help improve that project.”
Gulnaz Mammadli, an intern at our Regional Operating Center in Vilnius, Lithuania, also has a unique role, in that she is helping to design the next internship program for the region.
Question: Had you ever been an intern before or was this your first time?
Gulnaz: “I have been an intern before, but it is my first time to have a real life working experience. Last summer I did a marketing internship in a startup company, which was a disappointing experience for me. A startup company is very spontaneous, and I found they didn’t have enough time to teach me. I like to challenge myself, learning new information, and implementing what I know in real work. At Western Union, I learn new skills every day, doing the technical work of an Accountant, and I also get to use my creative side with the special projects I have been given.”
Question: What part of being a WU intern do you appreciate the most?
Gulnaz: “Working at Western Union, I feel useful. I enjoy what I am doing, and I believe I contribute to my team and WU. My manager and colleagues are friendly and welcoming, so I come to work eager to learn more and do my best. Moreover, this internship has enabled me to realize the kind of job and work culture I would like to have in the future.”
I also heard from Gulnaz’s manager, Zita Butkute, from a WU employee perspective.
Question: Why did you opt to have an intern join your team?
Zita: “This is a great help with our daily as well as a growth opportunity for our employees, teaching their processes to the interns just starting to develop their professional skills.”
Question: Why is the internship program so important for WU?
Zita: “We help students without work history gain valuable hands-on practice, exploring fields they are interested in at an international company. WU grows its future employees in a very competitive environment, and some interns join us after their successful internships.”
Question: What do you hope to learn from Gulnaz during her internship?
Zita: “Internships are always beneficial for the student and our company; it broadens the team’s mindset and strengthens our collaboration. Also, it is always great to meet nice people like Gulnaz, who are very interesting and bring fresh ideas.”
Zita’s advice to future students looking to apply for an internship at WU is to “be brave and experience as much as you can. Dream big, big is possible.”
Agreed! We can’t wait to see the results of their and all our interns’ hard work. So today, help us celebrate the upcoming professionals from around the world. WU interns, thank you for choosing us! We wish each of you a very successful future!