Our interns are helping to power the future of SoFi and the entire fintech industry! During our 10-12 week summer program, our interns have the opportunity to meet senior leaders, present ideas to improve existing initiatives, and own their own projects from start to finish, making a valuable impact on our business.
Meet former Intern Caroline Lee, who’s sharing her journey from NYC undergrad to SoFi People Team Intern, and what she learned about herself along the way.
The year is 2020. I’m two years out of undergrad. It’s been three months since I quit my first full-time job at a PR agency. Freshly-inspired by Clarice Starling in “Silence of the Lambs,” I am ready to pivot career paths and start an internship at a forensic psychology firm in midtown Manhattan. The day after I accepted my offer, COVID-19 shocked the world and my internship was canceled.
One and a half confusing years later, in April of 2022, I re-emerged back into civilization with an icky, nagging pit in my stomach reminding me of the time I had lost.
Losing time is perhaps the most frustrating part of the human experience. We can’t buy time, we can’t make more of it, we can’t slow it down, and we can’t escape it. The only thing we can do is to keep spending more of it whether we want to or not.
Panicked, I frantically brainstormed career options and landed in NYU’s I/O psychology master’s program. A year later, I started a summer internship at SoFi as a Talent Intern on the University and Military Recruiting team.
On my first day, I sat in my bedroom wearing a fuzzy gray sweatshirt that SoFi’s University team had sent me a few weeks prior and scrolled through the names on the long list of students in our #2022-summer-interns Slack channel. I was pleasantly surprised to see a diverse set of universities represented in my intern class.
While I loved the convenience of working from my bedroom, I was eager to check out the office, so I made the trek down to the Meatpacking District and stepped into SoFi’s posh New York City office. The first thing I did was take a few selfies in front of the giant SoFi logo hanging in the lobby.
The second thing I did was send those selfies to my mom. Then I grabbed an acai yogurt from the fridge and sat down at an empty desk next to a girl with curly brown hair.
Her name was Ananya Arora and her smile was so wide, her teeth so white, her energy so warm, and her laughter so unrestrained that I quickly deduced that she was a recruiting intern – either that or sales.
She actually turned out to be a software engineer. She was visiting the states from Bombay, India to study computer science at Columbia University.
The two of us became friends and we would sit at our desks eating gummy bears from the pantry while she wrote Python designed to detect fraud and I did research on military recruitment strategies.
At SoFi, each intern is given a project to focus on for the summer. My project was to help our University Recruiting team build our Military Veteran hiring strategy. While I had yet to be introduced to the world of Military Veterans, I found myself increasingly absorbed in this remarkable population of individuals. I began understanding the various barriers Veterans face in finding jobs in the civilian world and I thought it troubling that a highly-capable population of workers was often getting overlooked and mismanaged by employers ("Employer Guide To Hiring Veterans," 2021). I internalized my team’s mission of boosting SoFi’s Veteran hiring efforts and worked hard to create a strategy that had the potential to both directly improve the lives of Veterans and bring SoFi greater success.
In conducting my project, I learned two important lessons. The first is how to do good for your company while also doing good for other people. As a member of the People Team, I saw firsthand how the team worked to drive business results, while simultaneously enriching peoples’ lives by offering them a caring and challenging environment for them to grow both professionally and personally.
The second is to trust myself. I used to frequently doubt my abilities and was constantly anxious about failing. Because I didn’t trust myself, I would often panic whenever I saw my peers excelling out of fear that I’d get left behind. At SoFi, however, I witnessed phenomenal teamwork taking place – every person who I asked for help - whether they were on my immediate team or not -was more than willing to provide me with the support I needed. The University Recruiting team created an encouraging culture where every intern, including myself, was celebrated for their progress and accomplishments. Through the support of dozens of individuals, I was able to cultivate my professional skills and I now feel more confident about my own abilities. I know I’m growing because rather than feeling small and unworthy in the face of my peers’ successes, I’ve started feeling joy.
If wasting time is the most frustrating part of the human experience and the last two years due to COVID, then the most satisfying part is feeling as though you were able to make up for lost time, and enjoy it, which is exactly what I did during my summer at SoFi.
Thanks for sharing your intern experience with us, Caroline. Our University Recruiting team is hiring! Join us to invest in yourself, your career, and the financial world.
The individual featured is a SoFi employee. Their personal experiences, obviously, do not take into account your own specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. Results will vary.