Thank you to Ryan Ireland and Grace Montgomery for sharing their experience as interns at Henkel.
How did you find this internship? What motivated you to apply?
Ryan: Prior to my participation in this internship, Henkel was one of my target companies. I had a family friend who worked at Henkel for a long time and always spoke highly of the company. After having conversations with him, I realized that Henkel would be a good fit for my long-term career goals. Then, in Fall 2020, I participated in Chapman’s Meet the Firms Finance event, where representatives from Henkel attended. They reached out to me after the event inviting me to apply to the internship. I initially turned them down as I had other commitments, but despite this, they really wanted me to apply. So, I ended up filling out the application and I was offered the internship.
Grace: I discovered Henkel and their internship program through the Meet the Firms: Finance event on campus. I was a sophomore when I attended. At first, I was not very interested in the internship because I thought I wanted to go into personal finance. Then, a year later, I attended the event once more and realized that corporate finance was more appealing to me as a career option. Because I had gone to the event during the prior year, the recruiters recognized me and encouraged me to apply.
What are finding you enjoy the most about your internship with Henkel?
Ryan: What is most enjoyable for me is that Henkel has really helped give me experience that aligns with my long-term career goals. When I was interviewing for the position, I told the interviewers, who are now my current bosses, that I wanted to get international experience, as I emphasized in international business during my bachelor’s degree. They arranged for my internship duties to include collaborating with our colleagues in the Philippines to train them on how to manage some of my reports once my internship is over. I have really enjoyed having the opportunity to gain this global experience.
Grace: The part of my internship that I enjoy the most is the dynamic nature of the work that I do. Every week is different and interesting. I am involved in multiple projects that have wide-reaching impacts in the organization. Because of this, I have worked with employees from all parts of the company and had the opportunity to network outside of my team, despite doing most of my work online during COVID.
What would you say to other students considering or looking for an internship?
Ryan: I think it is important to look at how a company treats its employees. Henkel really cares about its employees and is always emphasizing the importance of the individual. For example, I recently had to take some time off work as a result of some health issues. Henkel gave me 40 paid sick hours, despite the fact I was only a part-time intern who had barely been on the job for six months. This really reinforced how Henkel cares for its employees, as not all companies would have provided this benefit.
Grace: To other students looking for an internship, I would suggest that you keep an open mind. There are some opportunities that may not immediately appeal to your interests, but you may find later that it is a perfect fit for your aspirations.
In what ways do you feel this internship with Henkel has prepared you?
Ryan: I believe this internship has helped prepare me in two ways. First, it has given me real-world experience in operations. This has been fascinating because it has helped me understand how to bridge the gap between what is taught in academia and how these concepts are applied in the real world. Secondly, this internship has helped me gain experience in working for a truly global organization and to better understand what that entails.
Grace: My internship with Henkel has given me confidence. I now have experience with hosting meetings, doing presentations, and interacting with high-level managers. Henkel has given me the tools that I need to succeed in any company in the future.