Victor Mullins, associate dean of the Undergraduate Program at the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business, recently asked Edmond Lee ’19 to share his unique experience during this past summer. Edmond’s “Summer Story of “WOW”” is part of his Smith journey and it may be an inspiration to others. It may also be the beginning of what will distinguish him during networking opportunities and job interviews. Edmond is a finance and accounting double major.
Dean Mullins: Tell us what you did this summer?
Edmond: I returned for my second summer with Deloitte to partake in their Discovery Internship Program. It was an eight-week rotational internship in which my time was split between a tax and an advisory rotation. Throughout the summer, I wanted to travel as much as possible. Over the course of my life, I have traveled to over 30 countries in the world. During this summer, I thought it was time to spend some time traveling domestically so I visited seven different states.
Dean Mullins: What were the highlights of your experience?
Edmond: I spent six weeks working on a financial services client that does almost $2 billion in revenue annually. I was exposed to technology risk advisory, business process risk advisory, audit, and tax work. I absolutely loved the team on my engagement. After my four-week rotation in advisory ended, my team actually asked me back to the engagement for the final two weeks of my internship so that I could help them meet their deadlines. I even got to play in a golf tournament with Deloitte professionals in order to expand my network. Lastly, I got to reunite with the National Discovery Intern class that I had bonded with the year before in Texas.
Dean Mullins: How/when/why did you plan this experience?
Edmond: My freshman year was the first ever year Deloitte offered the Pioneer Internship which is a freshman internship program. I was one of four selected to participate in the inaugural class in the McLean office. After that first summer, I received an offer to return for the Discovery Internship Program and immediately jumped at the program to work at the company that had already invested so much in me. My father always told me that in order to be successful, you need to invest in a company just as much as you want them to invest in you. I have found Deloitte to be that company.
Dean Mullins: Has this experience helped you to clarify your professional and/or personal goal(s)?
Edmond: Yes, this past summer has definitely helped me to know exactly what I do and what I do not want in a career. While I received great exposure and learned about the business, I really learned that audit and tax were not the right fit for me. I also learned that Internal Audit & Assurance under Advisory is a great starting point, but not somewhere I wanted my career to go in the long term. I need to be constantly challenged with new and different material in order to unlock my best performance. Therefore, I believe that my skills and interests are more aligned with transactional advisory services like Mergers and Acquisitions, in which I will constantly be staffed on projects in which I will need to innovate and try new things.
Dean Mullins: Tell us how your “Summer of “WOW” “ experience will help you continue along the Smith Freshmen: “Build Your Brand;” Sophomores: “Pioneer Your Path;” Juniors: ”Command Your Career;” Seniors: “Embrace Your Experience.”
Edmond: I believe that I have all the tools and foundation set in order to continue my career journey. I have had two great internship experiences with the Big Four. I have learned exactly what service lines of work that I enjoy and where my skills best align. With this knowledge and experience, I can search for the positions that I know are the right fit for me.
Dean Mullins: What advice would you give to your fellow Smith peers and community?
Edmond: If you want something, go out and get it. Be bold. There are going to be struggles along the way, but you cannot put a price on what you learn about yourself in those hard times. One of my favorite things about the Smith School is how amazing our alumni community is. A few days ago, I got to speak to the Smith Board of Advisors. These are some of the most powerful and successful alumni we have. They are CEOs and partners and they have set the bar extremely high. It is on us to use the path they built for us and up the ante.
Dean Mullins: What is your dream?
Edmond: It is my dream to graduate from Harvard Law School. I have always wanted to become a lawyer. I realized through my internships that nothing matters more than enjoying what you do. There is no amount of money or status that I would ever trade for happiness. When I get up and speak in front of a courtroom, I get an excitement and thrill that I really do not get elsewhere. Hopefully, in the future, I can land a corporate law position that will be the perfect intersection of my interests in business and law.
Dean Mullins: Why are you passionate about the Smith School?
Edmond: I am extremely passionate about the Smith School because they are so invested in their students in every facet of the word. When I came to the University of Maryland to interview for the Banneker Key Scholarship, Maryland was the first school that looked at me for more than my SAT Score or just my GPA. They saw my potential and provided me with all the tools for success. Every alumni, faculty, staff, and fellow student is willing to help me achieve my dreams.
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.