Putting on dress pants, styling her hair, and touching-up her make-up didn’t seem like a big deal to Nicole Betcher ’19 as she prepared to attend a networking program hosted on campus by Women in Business. Little did she know that a stride across the Quad would not only lead her to another appointment in her already busy schedule but it would become a pivotal moment in a vibrant career.

“I met Monica (a recruiter) from Enterprise,” said Betcher, now employed with the organization. “My brother interned with her about eight years ago. So, I knew of her but didn’t know her personally. Enterprise was one of the event’s sponsors, so I got to talk with her face to face. I shared with her about my career goals and she shared about how she achieved hers. She told me a bit about the internship program she was seeking candidates for and scheduled an interview for me.”

The internship experience

It didn’t take long before the networking event turned into one of her greatest out-of-the-classroom learning experiences she had.

“The internship was not what I expected at all. I thought I was going to be like what you see in the movies. Go get coffee, all that. But it was nothing like that. I was treated like I was a full-time employee. During the 10-week internship, 85 percent of it was in the office doing exactly what I do now full-time. Enterprise didn’t treat interns and full-time staff differently. I would go to meetings and learn about the different departments. It taught me how a real business is run.”

Like most students, Betcher was a little intimidated starting an internship.

“I was afraid I was going to mess up something,” she said. “But then, I eased into it and found that the culture at Enterprise was awesome.”

Working as an intern at a large organization and having support from full-time employees helped to build her confidence.

“They changed my perspective about myself. I learned that if I mess up, it’s okay,” she said. “If I make a mistake here or there, it’ll get fixed. I was working, but I was also learning.”

During her internship, Betcher learned how to communicate as a professional.

“I learned about working with customers and colleagues from all different backgrounds,” she said. “I learned a lot about myself—my strengths and my weaknesses. I learned how to tweak them to be even stronger as a professional.”

Transitioning from internship to career

After her senior year, Betcher was offered and accepted a full-time management trainee position with Enterprise.

“I found a home with Enterprise,” she said. “A big part of their culture is just being able to experience what I do every single day and having a blast at it. I cannot stress enough how much an internship does for you. It really helped make the transition to professional a bit easier.”

Advice to other Redbirds

Betcher highly recommends all Redbirds consider participating in an internship, even if an organization’s industry is not in one’s field of study.

“One of my co-workers was a Spanish major, but while working at Enterprise, she discovered that she loves numbers,” she said. “Now she wants to go into accounting. Since Enterprise hires internally, she can apply to transfer to the accounting team later. Regardless of your major, I definitely recommend you take advantage of internship experiences.”

From attending a career-event hosted by her registered student organization, to participating in an internship, Betcher discovered that opportunities are available if students take chances and extend themselves.

“I’ve grown professionally and even personally, by building relationships and creating professional networks,” Betcher said. “Growth is everywhere. You just have to take advantage of the opportunities available to you.”