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February 1, 2019

How a “Shy and Reserved” Student Landed a Top Internship: Christina’s Story

Christina Panouis

When business student Christina Panouis started her junior year in Fall 2018, she set a goal for herself: Land an internship and begin preparing for her postgraduate career.

She didn’t land just any internship. She earned one of the top opportunities in her field, an administrative internship at the financial services company Merrill Lynch. It was a coup that reflected her ability—and her decision to take advantage of the resources at Adelphi that help students prepare for internships.

Panouis began in January, working three days a week until the program ends this spring. The internship is turning out to be everything she had hoped for.

“It’s a great company to grow in, a great company to learn in,″ says Panouis, who is from New Hyde Park, New York, and transferred to Adelphi from Sacred Heart University as a sophomore. “A lot of my colleagues are really nice, really insightful and looking to help me grow as a person, both in the business world and outside.″

The internship offers real-world business experience to complement her education as a marketing major. And Adelphi helped her every step of the way, preparing her with knowledge about her field and helping her with the application process.

“I definitely see a lot of the things my professors have talked about, whether it is how to deal with a customer, how to deal with certain conflicts that arise or how to deal with co-workers with different personalities than you,” Panouis says. “Sitting in a class and having your professor tell you about something is a lot different than actually being in that situation.″

At first, however, the prospect of finding an internship was overwhelming for her.

“I’ve always been kind of shy, kind of reserved, and had a hard time taking the first step in talking to someone I don’t really know, which was a big part of business and networking,″ she says.

Neil Halloran, director of internships for Adelphi’s Robert B. Willumstad School of Business, gave her the support she needed.

“He looked over my résumé. He took all of the different resources that you can use, like or LinkedIn, and just had everything laid out for me,” Panouis says. “He definitely made the process a lot less stressful.″

Halloran searched Adelphi’s database of more than 200 companies and matched Panouis’ skills and interests with internship qualifications.

“We treat these companies as partners and constantly obtain feedback from each leader on what specific qualities they are looking for in an intern or full-time employee,” Halloran says.

Panouis had all the qualities Merrill Lynch sought in an intern: strong marketing, leadership and communication skills, and a high GPA.

Panouis was intrigued by the opportunity.

“I’m a member of Delta Sigma Pi, the business fraternity, and a lot of the members have interned at Merrill Lynch,″ Panouis says. “Some even received postgraduation jobs, so [the company] was always on my radar.”

Panouis applied, and Halloran set up a mock interview to help her prepare. He also shared background information about the company.

“When Christina was interviewed by Merrill Lynch,″ Halloran adds, “she was not only prepared, but she aced the interview.″

Now that Panouis is settled into the internship, she encourages other students who are interested in interning, but are nervous, to push through.

“I know it’s hard to be a student and think about working on top of the schoolwork you already have, but go for it,″ she says. “Take advantage of resources like Professor Halloran and talk to your peers to figure out what opportunities they’ve had.″

Halloran goes further, encouraging students to create a business plan for themselves, starting in their first or sophomore year—one that includes building a 3.5 GPA or higher, updating their computer skills, joining societies relevant to their major and using Adelphi resources like the Writing Center.

The process may seem intimidating, but hard work can pay off. Just ask Christina Panouis.


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About Adelphi: A modern metropolitan university with a personalized approach to higher learning

Adelphi University, New York, is a highly awarded, nationally ranked, powerfully connected doctoral research university dedicated to transforming students’ lives through small classes with world-class faculty, hands-on learning and innovative ways to support academic and career success. Adelphi offers exceptional liberal arts and sciences programs and professional training, with particular strength in our Core Four—Arts and Humanities, STEM and Social Sciences, the Business and Education Professions, and Health and Wellness.

Recognized as a Best College by U.S. News & World Report, Adelphi is Long Island’s oldest private coeducational university. It serves almost 8,000 students at its beautiful main campus in Garden City, New York—just 23 miles from New York City’s cultural and internship opportunities—and at dynamic learning hubs in Manhattan, the Hudson Valley and Suffolk County, as well as online. 

More than 116,000 Adelphi graduates have gained the skills to thrive professionally as active, engaged citizens, making their mark on the University, their communities and the world.

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