Victor Mullins, associate dean of the undergraduate program at the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business, recently asked Lina Bauer '18 to share her unique experience during this past summer. Lina Bauer’s Summer Story of “WOW” is part of her Smith journey and it may be an inspiration to others. It may also be the beginning of what will distinguish her during networking opportunities and job interviews.
Dean Mullins: Tell us what you did this summer?
Lina: I spent the summer working for EY in New York City in the FSO Assurance practice. I also traveled to several new countries and had the opportunity to learn a bit of Portuguese while in Lisbon.
Dean Mullins: What were the highlights of your experience?
Lina: For my internship, I was based with an international client so I had to navigate communicating with a cross-functional team partly based in the U.S. and partly based internationally. I was able to be on a bank’s trading floor as part of my engagement and led a presentation about how new financial industry regulations affected our client’s business model. As I was the only intern on the team, I really got to do the work of a first-year staff member, which was a wonderful learning experience. The best part of the internship was getting to know individuals from different sectors of EY and constantly being challenged on the job.
Dean Mullins: How/when/why did you plan this experience?
Lina: In fall 2016, I accepted an offer with EY to intern this past summer in New York City with the FSO practice. I knew that I wanted to be in NYC to work with the firm’s banking and asset management firms.
Dean Mullins: Has this experience helped you to clarify your professional and/or personal goal(s)?
Lina: Absolutely. I understand which clients I want to work with and what type of job I aspire to have post-graduation. It also helped highlight my personal goal of using my language skills at work. I found that I was able to connect with such a diverse group of people through networking with international employees at events and expanding my knowledge of cultures differing from my own. My summer experience underlined the importance of knowing different languages and being educated about various cultures. A new personal goal of mine is to learn a fifth language.
Dean Mullins: Tell us how your experience might help you continue along the Smith Journey -- Freshmen: “Build Your Brand;” Sophomores: “Pioneer Your Path;” Juniors: “Command Your Career;” Seniors: “Embrace Your Experience.”
Lina: This summer was really a culmination of everything I had worked for during my last three years at Smith. I had interned with EY for two summers prior to this one and the combination of lessons learned at work and at the university allowed me to excel during my internship. For me – embracing my experience meant taking a step back and analyzing what my strategy was for interning and for my long-term career plan. It also meant understanding that my Smith experience is entirely my own. Each student has to figure out the best path for them instead of being on autopilot. As Smith students, we have to understand why we are taking the steps we are taking and the larger picture of what we are working towards.
Dean Mullins: What advice would you give to your fellow Smith peers and community?
Lina: It’s never too early (or too late) to start. As a freshman – take advantage of the plethora of activities, clubs, and other resources Smith has to offer. Stay late at that networking session and take the extra 10 minutes to make a new connection. As a sophomore and junior – figure out which career path and internship is right for you by immersing yourself in a diverse set of experiences. Don’t limit yourself to just doing what’s comfortable. Take the risk to try that tough real estate class or join a finance club even if you have no prior expertise in the subject.
Dean Mullins: What is your dream?
Lina: To start a microfinance company primarily providing loans to female entrepreneurs in developing countries.
Dean Mullins: Why are you passionate about the Smith School?
Lina: One word: opportunity. From the time I walked into the doors of the Smith School and went through Smith Start – the Smith School has given me nothing short of the most incredible opportunities. From working on interdisciplinary teams to consult for actual companies as a part of the QUEST program, getting to advocate for student concerns as part of the Dean’s Student Advisory Council to leading a SUSA club as president of the International Economics and Finance Society, Smith has given me the tools I need to make an impact at work and in my community, as well as installed a curiosity in me to be a student for life.
Successful navigation of the SMITH JOURNEY requires involvement with colleagues, professors, professionals, clubs and organizations here at the Smith School, across campus and in the outside “real” world of business. Here is what students are challenged to do in each of their four years at Smith:
Freshmen: “Build Your Brand” through the SmithStart program.
Sophomores: “Pioneer Your Path” to success by focusing on an overall academic and career strategy.
Juniors: ”Command Your Career” to ensure that you are well positioned for your professional journey.
Seniors: “Embrace Your Experience” with an arsenal of tools, knowledge, and networks, so that you are able to embrace your experience and celebrate your success.
For more information about the undergraduate program at Smith, visit: www.rhsmith.umd.edu/undergrad.