In the summer of 2020, internships everywhere were being canceled due to the global pandemic and the summer plans students had worked so hard for were drastically changing. Some companies had to make significant changes to their programs, some had to cancel their programs altogether, but everyone had to pivot quickly.
A couple of students, Sai Elagandula and Trevor Ledbetter, had to navigate these changes with their Credera internships. We asked Sai and Trevor to share a little bit about their unique experiences and how they navigated this time of uncertainty with Credera.
How did Credera handle the internships of 2020?
Sai and Trevor: During the first months of the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a lot of uncertainty, especially for us students. We were unsure what the next few months, including our internship plans, would entail. Companies were closing down, and a lot of our friend’s internships were getting canceled. The status of summer internships was on students’ minds everywhere.
In mid-April, Credera interns received a call from a Credera partner informing us they needed to make major changes to their internship program too. The internship would be optional, virtual, unpaid, and we would be staffed on an internal project rather than the client engagement we were hoping for. While it was disappointing news, it was not surprising.
What we didn’t expect though was that Credera also offered the intern class a guaranteed return offer, either for a future internship or a full-time offer upon graduation, depending on the age of the intern. Despite our decision to continue with the optional, virtual internship program, we would all have the opportunity to come back the following summer for another internship or join the Credera family full-time upon graduation that year. This was above and beyond what we had heard from other’s experiences and really gave us a glimpse of how this company puts people first, even during difficult times and hard decisions.
What was your reaction to Credera’s updated internship program in 2020?
Trevor: When I received the call from Andrew Warden informing me that the internship would not continue as expected, I was disappointed. I was also faced with the difficult decision of whether I should continue with the unpaid virtual internship. Initially, I wanted to continue with the internship and gain the experience I was so excited about, but I knew it wouldn’t be financially feasible for me.
Consequently, I had to decline the offer and I ended up participating in a different internship instead. Additionally, I decided to take an extra semester of classes at Texas A&M to make room for another summer internship. In the end, I’m thankful I made this decision as it allowed me to accept Credera’s return offer for the 2021 internship, which has provided me with invaluable real-world experience.
Sai: I still remember when I got the call. Getting the news was disheartening, but Credera provided us with several great options for what to do next. I was incredibly privileged to be able to stay with and be supported by my family through the summer. This granted me a lot more flexibility than other students, so I decided to take a chance on Credera’s alternate internship program and see if Credera was a good fit for me.
Why did you choose to return to intern with Credera in summer 2021?
Sai: Last summer, I was placed in the Data & Analytics Practice. I was able to learn the different projects data scientists and data engineers worked on, and it really interested me. Through the internship, my manager, onboarding peer, and career coach were all open to discussing what I wanted to learn and the type of work I wanted to be exposed to, and they took steps to help me get the experiences that aligned with my interests. For example, although we were not staffed on client projects last year, I was able to shadow a client engagement and sit in on the team’s meetings to experience consulting in action.
Credera also has an open environment to network and get to know consultants across the firm. Within my first few weeks, I had already scheduled “coffee chats” to connect virtually with Credera team members throughout the summer, talk about their experience with the firm, and receive career advice. These conversations gave me a better perspective on the type of work Credera does and the type of people who work here.
After the internship, I knew I wanted to pursue a career in data. I shared this with my Credera project manager, and they helped me pick out courses to take in college that would better prepare me for the field. Additionally, Credera adjusted my return offer after I decided to delay my graduation date so I could take statistics and machine learning classes and add an economics major.
Everyone around me was championing my growth and I felt like Credera was a place where I did not have to fit into a box or specialize in one thing. I was allowed to talk about and explore my interests. I was excited to return to intern in 2021 to work on a client project and get a better feel for technical consulting. Given the support I received last summer, returning to intern with Credera was an easy decision to make.
Trevor: The way Credera handled the cancellation of their 2020 internship program played a big part in my decision to return the following summer. First and foremost, they gave me the ability to choose. I was given the option to continue with an unpaid virtual internship, and I was given the option to accept a return offer, even if I decided not to participate in the virtual internship.
Although I did not participate in the internship last year, Credera invited me to attend their intern events throughout the summer, which introduced me to leadership, project demos, and Credera’s culture. This went above and beyond what I had heard other companies in similar situations were doing. Despite not being an intern last summer, I was able to continue my relationship with Credera, which gave me an extra year to learn about the company and culture.
I chose to return to intern with Credera in 2021 for all the same reasons I chose to accept the internship in 2020. Throughout the recruitment process I had positive impressions from everyone I had met at Credera, and I knew I would have the opportunity to work with great people. Furthermore, the fact that not every internship provides the opportunity to contribute to work that will legitimately be valued made me confident in my choice to return.
How has Credera met your expectations in terms of internship opportunities?
Trevor: Going into the summer 2021 internship, I wanted to accomplish three primary goals:
Make a meaningful contribution to a client project.
Grow my technical skillset.
Learn about Credera.
As soon as I was staffed on my client project, I was astounded by how much opportunity I was given to contribute to work that is meaningful to my client. The tasks I was given started small, but as I became more comfortable with the project and codebase, I was given increasingly larger features to complete. From a technical standpoint, I not only gained experience with unfamiliar technologies, but I also absorbed so much from working with the members of my team and learning how they approach and solve problems.
I achieved my third goal by participating in company events and connecting with people at all levels in the company. Not only did Credera provide countless opportunities to network with others, but they created a safe space for learning, curiosity, and relationship building, which made it so much easier to connect with others. From one-on-one coffee chats to roundtables with the CEO, everyone is happy to share their experiences and get to know you.
Sai: It is crazy to think about all the different technologies and processes and workflows I learned these past two summers with Credera. Over the course of my internships, I worked on an internal project, a client project, did business development work, sat in on lunch and learns and data science interest group presentations, attended their leadership development conference, and gave a demo of the internal project to Credera’s Data and Analytics Practice.
Beyond that, I learned so many subtle things: how to better connect with people, how to effectively communicate in and out of your project, how to summarize what you are doing to other people, and lots and lots of technical jargon.
Internships are all about gaining experience, understanding if a company is the right fit, and whether you enjoy the work you’re doing. Credera not only met these expectations for me, but exceeded them. As a future Credera intern, you will have the opportunity to discover all these things and more.
Find Your Fit at Credera
Interested in joining Credera as an intern or full time upon graduation? Check out our website to apply! Job applications open on August 25, 2021 and close on September 30, 2021.
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