Julia Allen '19
During my senior year of high school, I shadowed a human resources director at a hospital near my home. I also audited a business seminar at a local university where I got to see how students can develop their start-up ideas and take them to market. These experiences made me interested in learning more about organizational culture, management, and entrepreneurship.
None of the schools I was considering compared to ILR in terms of academic exploration of these areas and postgraduate career results. The ability to access paid internships at top firms without having any personal connections is one of the best things I’ve gotten out of ILR. The diversity of fields I’ve been able to work in and explore is also tremendous. I’ve done canvassing for a nonprofit, human resources at a Fortune 200 firm, and soon, I’ll be working in corporate finance at General Electric.
Working in Career Services
Working in ILR’s Office of Career Services has been one of my defining college experiences. I’ve worked as a Peer Advisor, the Freshman Externship Coordinator (FEX), and a Marketing Assistant. My favorite aspects are interacting with students and thinking out large-scale strategy in the office. I love speaking with my peers and talking about their ambitions, plans, and helping them think of ways they can tell their personal and professional stories.
I also enjoy helping the office develop new approaches to career development. For example, I noticed that some students like me from rural areas can struggle to find winter internships because most FEX and Winter Intersessions Programs (WISP) are in metro areas and do not provide housing. Sophomore year, I developed my own WISP with an ILR alumnus in Boca Raton. Part of the experience was on site in his office in Boca Raton, where he flew me down and paid for lodging. The rest of the experience was a paid remote internship. I used this experience to help other students leverage their skills and interests to develop similar winter opportunities.
I would recommend students embrace activities outside their comfort zone. Get involved in a few activities, but leave some time to explore Cornell and the Ithaca community at large. Take time to support your peers and attend a Cornell Bhangra performance. Make sure you cheer in the stands at hockey games, visit the Kitchen Theatre, and go see your friends’ designs at the Cornell Fashion Show. These are just some of my favorite experiences, and they’ve all helped to expand my horizons and interests.