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Internship Reflection: From First-Day Jitters to Next-Level Confidence

Internship Reflection by Sarah Leenane
January 12, 2023 Xperi

By Sarah Leenane

As part of my four-year degree in Commerce (Global Experience) at the University of Galway, I had the opportunity to find an internship and study abroad during my third year. After interviewing, I was over the moon to be offered a position at Xperi’s Galway office as a finance intern. My seven-month internship spanned from June to December and I will never forget my first day on the job — I had never been so nervous for anything in my life! As soon as I met everyone in the office, I knew I had nothing to worry about — everybody was so friendly and made me feel welcome from the very start.

My internship was split into four segments so I had the chance to work in different areas of finance including statutory compliance, accounts receivable, accounts payable and accounting. This structure gave me an insight into all the different areas and get a feel for which ones I might like to work in after college. I also found it interesting to see how they all interlinked.

A few highlights
I loved my time working with Xperi — it is one of the best things I have ever done. I developed so much as a person, both professionally and personally. I saw and practiced important skills that are necessary for working in a professional environment such as teamwork, verbal and written communication, organisation, time management, decision-making, listening and computer literacy.

My favourite thing about Xperi is the people — everyone is so nice and relatable! They were always more than happy to answer questions I had (no matter how basic they were) or help me if I got stuck on something. I never once felt like I couldn’t approach any of my colleagues. I really appreciated how much time they all took out of their busy schedules to bring me along. Hearing their experiences and advice was invaluable and something I will hold onto in the future when I am deciding on my career path.

I liked the fact that it wasn’t serious the whole time — you could laugh and talk about silly things with people too. My colleagues often invited me out for walks at lunchtime, which was a good way to get to know them beyond the office environment.

One of the major bonuses to working at Xperi was the hybrid working structure. I looked forward to going into the office every week because it was great to see people in person, but it also suited me to work from home for part of the week. I think the balance of both was perfect.

There were many advantages to working with Xperi including lunch gatherings every other week, meals out for special occasions, the AwardCo reward system, wellness support, flexible work hours, the ability to work from home and Women in Tech employee resource group to name a few.

My advice for future interns:

  • Be organised and get yourself into a good routine it makes things easier, especially if are not used to working 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m. as it can take some time to adjust. Your new routine might be as simple as making your lunch and setting out your clothes the night before work and going to bed early.
  • Set some goals for yourself at the start and add new ones as your internship progresses, these could be either professional or personal — it will give you a focus.
  • Make an effort to attend any social events that are held as it is a good way to get to know the people you are working with.
  • Take notes they are always useful to have to look back on. Ask loads of questions — in my experience, people are more than happy to answer them and they encourage it.
  • Most importantly, make the most out of the experience and enjoy every minute because believe me, the time goes so quickly.

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