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Handshake student stories, The internship series

Gaining career confidence from summer internships

How a University of Michigan transfer student overcame imposter syndrome during a summer internship at Accenture.

Summer internships are a great opportunity for career growth and networking. Because classroom academics are typically put on pause for those few months, there’s more time to focus on developing workplace skills. You might even be excited and beginning to search for your summer internship now! It can initially be intimidating and unfamiliar, but with time your unsure steps will blossom into confidence and clarity.

After making the decision to transfer schools and move across the country from Washington to Michigan, engineering student Kate Evenson was in a time crunch to get ready for the University of Michigan’s career fair. In an effort to organize quickly, she used Handshake to help with some last-minute internship searching.

Catching up for recruiting season

“Handshake helped me to get up to speed in time for the career fair season at the University of Michigan," Kate recalls. "As I was completing my transfer process and moving from Seattle, I was feeling really overwhelmed because the University of Michigan hosts career fairs and interviews as early as the end of the very first week of classes.”

Between packing, moving in, getting adjusted to a new city, and finding a summer internship, Kate had a lot on her plate.

“Not only did I have to get used to an entirely new university, but as a junior, the pressure was on to nail down a summer internship I felt passionate about to get some valuable experience before looking for a full time position.”

Through sheer determination, Kate was able to apply to and successfully land a summer internship at Accenture using Handshake’s easy application process.

A summer at Accenture

In her role as a summer consulting analyst, Kate was able to pick up skills that would prove to benefit her later–in life and in class. As her summer internship let her work in the worlds of both client and company, she felt increasing confidence through her contributions at work.

Throughout the summer, Kate honed her communication skills and became comfortable presenting her work to leadership. "That was huge for me," she remembers, noting how this lesson helped her overcome imposter syndrome in a historically male-dominated field of study. "Just having the confidence to know that I belong there is something that I still carry with me in all of my classes." ⁠

Kate grew in both technical skills and her awareness of the competence she holds as an engineer. Her summer at Accenture opened the door for more skill growth, networking, and overall career experience.

The right summer internship can unlock so many doors when it comes to your career. As an intern, you have industry professionals advising you and pushing you towards the path to success. Hands-on experience and thoughtful mentorship add depth to one’s journey–both technically and personally. As the #1 site for college students to get jobs, Handshake is always here to support and uplift the voices of students, like Kate, who are “finding their next” every day.

Find the right jobs for you. Get hired.