Ask Ascent: From Internship to Full-Time Role
Internships offer students the chance to gain real-world experiences and grow their professional development skills. Internships may have the potential to lead to full-time roles, which can be a smooth transition for students as they enter the workforce.
At Ascent, we are proud to onboard, train, and support interns as they take what they learn in the classroom and apply it to the workplace. We talked with a few team members who first joined the team as interns to learn more about their journey from internship to full-time role. Continue reading for more on the projects they worked on and the advice they would give to other students on the job or internship hunt.
How did you two hear about Ascent as an intern opportunity?
Jen: I was a newly transferred junior attending SDSU. The internships at Ascent were recommended to me by another SDSU student who was an Ascent intern at the time.
Abigail: I became aware of Ascent’s internship opportunity via Handshake, an intern and job-hunting platform. I was in the application process for several different marketing internships, but I resonated with Ascent’s mission, and it struck a chord with me as someone who also felt lost navigating financial aid and loan borrowing.
What role were you hired to do?
Jen: My internship role here at Ascent consisted of a variety of experiences. Originally, I was a marketing intern working under our Marketing Operations Specialist at the time. I spent time supporting and coordinating various marketing campaigns including email, social media, content creation, and direct consumer marketing strategies.
Abigail: My role as a marketing intern focused on content creation, social media, email campaigns, and blog posts. Today, my role as a marketing coordinator will work a lot more with engagement. I will be focusing on our email strategy and customer lifecycle. This includes ways to better connect with students and learn about the challenges they face.
How long was your internship at Ascent?
Jen: My internship lasted a little over a year, from March 2021 to May 2022. This would have been over my junior and senior year of college.
Abigail: I was able to remain an intern at Ascent for over two years! Around the one-year mark, I was promoted to lead marketing intern and received a raise.
Describe your team and the people you worked closely with on different projects.
Jen: My teams were awesome! I met a ton of people because I was able to branch out and experience tons of different marketing initiatives. I was working on real projects that had a positive impact on the company, and I was able to test out different areas I was interested in. My age and student experience were celebrated as Ascent and my teams were eager to listen to my college and financial experiences. Everyone around me was excited to see me grow and happy to teach me new skills.
Abigail: Since starting at Ascent, I have worked with nearly every team and department in some way or another. Currently, I work with our engagement team, and I love that we spend our time trying to find new ways to personally connect with our students and borrowers. My direct manager is Joanna, and she walks with me every step of the way. She has been a mentor and advocate for me since my very first day.
What was your overall impression of company culture at Ascent?
Jen: I was originally nervous about working for a loan company because I had little knowledge of the industry, but the previous intern who recommended the position spoke incredibly highly of Ascent. Once I started the interview process, everything fell into place. It was a perfect match and exactly what I was looking for in an internship.
Abigail: I was concerned being the youngest person at the company would hinder my experience, but it became clear interns were seen as a valuable resource. It’s difficult being a full-time student during your internship experience, but Ascent was understanding and invested in my success as both an intern and student.
What are you looking forward to the most in a full-time role at Ascent?
Jen: I’m excited to continue my work with an incredible supervisor and experience a new position at Ascent that I was able to make my own.
Abigail: With this new role I will be getting more involved in different projects and can fully focus on my work. Previously, I was trying to navigate being a student and employee. While working as an intern I would sometimes miss out on big picture projects or meetings due to classes or studying.
Do you have any tips for other students searching for their dream internship that could turn into a full-time role?
Jen: Take the initiative! There are tons of advantages to being a student. You’re able to find organizations that match your interests and ambitions while networking with like-minded individuals and alumni. During your internship, your chances of obtaining a full-time role will be impacted by building relationships with coworkers. They will be your supporters and advocates if you’re moved into a full-time role.
Abigail: Internship and job-hunting can be exhausting, but the next application could be the one that propels you to your dream internship. If you’re an intern looking to score a full-time role, don’t be afraid to ask questions and explore different opportunities. While it’s important to show up and meet expectations, you also need to take time to decide if you like your role. I made sure to ask for more opportunities from my manager until I found my current role that fits my strengths and individuality.