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CultureAug 28, 2020

A Summer Internship at Credera: Pandemic Edition

Ryan Gentzel, John McCartney, and Grace Li

Every academic year, Credera recruits from college and university campuses to find the brightest minds to join our summer internship program. We seek students from various universities with diverse experiences and majors to spend 10 weeks at Credera. Because of the current pandemic, this year’s internship program looked a little different from years past. We asked a few of our summer interns, Grace Li, John McCartney, and Ryan Gentzel to share their experiences through the recruitment process and throughout this unusual summer.

what was your recruiting experience like, and why did you choose credera?

Ryan - From the start of my recruiting experience I knew I was getting into something special with Credera.

I first encountered Credera in the lobby of our university’s business school. I started a conversation with one of their representatives and gave my best elevator pitch, but it didn’t take long for the conversation to slice through the professional veneer and morph into a genuine conversation about a topic that both of us were passionate about. The conversation had very little to do with Credera, but it lasted about 40 minutes and made all the difference to me.

From that point forward, every person I came across during the recruiting process, whether I met them at dinners, career fairs, or in an interview, showed similar intentionality. I was amazed by how much Credera cared to get to know me as a person, not just as a potential employee. In fact, the sheer number of people I got to meet during the recruiting process made a huge impact on me. I met around 40 different employees before the internship offer even came.

In the end, it was the incredible people that influenced my choice the most, because I knew that they were people I really wanted to work with.

John - I found Credera through a company called RippleMatch, which connects students with companies of like interests. I got ‘matched’ with Credera and the interview process began.

Every interaction I had with someone from Credera didn’t feel like an interview. It felt like an open space where I was able to share my experiences and be heard by someone who wanted to get to know who I am as a person. Although no two interactions were the same, all had the common element of genuine, open, and compassionate communication.

Not only is Credera all about performing at their very best for their clients, but they truly value their employees and want to make Credera feel like a second home. A family. I remember leaving my final interview and thinking, “This is where I need to be. This is where I belong.”

how did covid-19 impact your summer, and what was it like watching the events of such an unusual summer unfold?

Grace – As I watched my friends’ internships get canceled one by one, I was dreading and anticipating the same fate for my internship with Credera. You could say I was relieved when one of Credera’s Partners, Andrew Warden, called me and let me know that the internship was still happening, but would be a completely virtual experience. Even though the internship was going to look different, I was grateful to still have an opportunity to participate.

The next challenge was learning what it meant to work remotely in these unprecedented times. The thought of what working remotely entailed was definitely frightening, but there wasn’t a doubt in my mind that if I had to work remotely for my internship it would be with Credera. Given how welcoming and accommodating they were throughout my recruiting process, I felt comfortable and was excited to be working with them, even virtually.

how was your experience building relationships remotely?

Ryan - Building relationships remotely definitely has its challenges. It’s harder to read facial expressions and body language, connection issues can really kill a good joke, and nothing beats a real-life handshake. But there are some great benefits, too. I got to know people from the Chicago and Denver offices just as well as people from Dallas because everyone is on the same virtual playing field.

Meeting someone for “coffee” was as simple as scheduling 30-minutes on someone’s calendar and then clicking “join meeting” when the time arrived, so I got to have a lot more conversations with people who might not have had time to talk with an intern otherwise. There’s certainly a learning curve, but I think with some effort it all balances out, and you can absolutely build meaningful relationships virtually.

John – It’s easy to feel alone and isolated during this time. I won’t lie, I had (and continue to have) moments where I feel starved of social interaction. However, everyone is so graceful and welcoming all the time which helps ease that feeling. I’ve had countless virtual coffee chats this summer, short check-ins, and game nights which have helped me to feel connected and noticed. At no point did I feel like I was ‘just an intern’ and taken for granted. I feel like a part of the Credera family.

what was your project work like?

Ryan – This was the best part of the internship’s shift to remote work. We didn’t get to work on client projects over the summer, but Credera made up for it by giving us extremely high-level internal project opportunities that I could never have imagined getting as an intern. I was getting feedback on a project directly from the CEO by the second week of my internship, and I never expected anything remotely (pun intended) close to that kind of exposure.

The projects we worked on were pursuits that actually mattered to people in the company, and the work we got to do will make a significant impact on Credera’s future.

Grace – Initially, I was bummed to hear that we were unable to work on external client projects because of the pandemic situation, however, in retrospect, working on internal projects made us better connected to the company. We had the chance to work on several projects, from upgrading Credera’s internal information hub to creating a new tool that integrated all of the internal resources that Credera uses.

Throughout the summer, we’ve worked with new frameworks and expanded our skillset, not only technically, but soft skills as well. These projects allowed us to work with a diverse range of applications we wouldn’t normally find in a classroom and helped us grow as professionals overall.

do you have anything else to share about your internship experience or credera in general?

Ryan - Credera is the real deal. They care about their people, and culture really is one of the most important things to the leadership team here. Their actions back up all the accolades you read about on Glassdoor or Great Place to Work. I have already accepted my return offer to come back full-time upon graduation, and I am genuinely excited to begin my career with such an incredible company.

John – I feel lucky to have been able to work with such a talented and compassionate team of individuals at Credera this summer. I feel like I am a part of something bigger, yet still able to be noticed for the work that I am doing. Credera gives me the opportunity to create and take ownership of my work, while seeing the direct impact that my work has.

Ryan Gentzel interned in the management consulting practice this summer before returning to Baylor University for his senior year. He will be graduating in May 2021 with a BBA in Finance and Supply Chain Management.

John McCartney interned in the Data & Analytics practice this summer at Credera. He will be graduating from the University of Michigan in May 2021, double majoring in mathematics and computer science.

Grace Li interned with the Open Technology Solutions practice this summer. She will be returning to Texas A&M University for her junior year and will be graduating in May 2022 with a B.S. in Computer Science and a minor in Visualization.

join the team

Interested in spending a summer with Credera? Applications for our Summer 2021 Internship Program open September 1st and close on September 25th. Check out our website to apply!

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