Looking for internship at a job fair can be an overwhelming experience. As an student at North Carolina A&T State University aspiring to kickstart my career, I went to the fall career fair intent on finding a summer internship.
I left the career fair without a single business card or an ounce of confidence that I would get a call back. I couldn’t figure out what I did wrong and why none of the employers had showed a true interest in me as they had the previous year. After a couple days, I weighed out my options for summer employment and knew that I had to keep trying. But enough was enough: I visited the career services website of another local college, and it turned out that they would be hosting a career fair in just a few days.
This couldn’t be just a lucky break. I knew I had to keep up momentum, really shine and give it another go. I researched all of the visiting companies on the list so that I would be fully prepared, and as I did so one company in particular stood out to me. This company was based in Greensboro, NC, where I lived even before college. They promoted a business culture of a start-up feeling with the stability of a long-term company. This was Encompass Solutions, and they offered much of what I was interested in: Project Management, ERP Implementation, Consultation, Customized Solutions. Their focus on really researching their clients, getting to know what they were facing from top to bottom, well, lined up perfectly with my own.
Finally the career fair opened and I had my second chance to get it right. Fully prepped with my research beforehand, I approached the booth of Encompass Solutions and I was greeted by a developer from the company. He readily explained to me what type of interns they are looking for and I was immediately excited: he was able to talk about the real technical stuff. The developer’s energy got me even more excited about the company. I had more companies to speak to that day, however, but my few minutes with Encompass were the clear high point of the day.
I left the fair feeling the exact opposite of how I felt at the end of the last one. I felt confident I would be contacted by one of the companies, but when I received a follow-up email asking when I would be available to do a phone interview from Encompass, I was overjoyed. After a week I had my phone interview with both the COO and the CEO of Encompass. The whole time I was thinking, “Wow, they’ve pulled out the top executives to interview me!” It was clear they were invested at every level their company operated in.
The offer email came the next day. I immediately accepted and began my internship in November. This was 8 months before summer! I never expected to have the opportunity to start an internship in November.
Day one of my internship with Encompass Solutions had finally arrived. I put on my best outfit and arrived about 15 minutes early. I was determined to show them that they made a great choice. When I arrived at Encompass I was welcomed with open arms. Everyone was very helpful and willing to help me with anything I needed. The atmosphere is truly like a start-up that houses developers, sales, accounting, and operations.
Fast-forward 6 months later and without hesitation I can say that my time at Encompass Solutions was one of the best experiences out of all of my internships. I’ve learned and polished so many great skills during my run there. I’ve enhanced my team building, communication, and problem solving skills. I’ve also had the opportunity to learn new skills such as Epicor, Microsoft Reporting Services, and C#. Encompass truly tries to help interns learn industry standard skills. The CEO and COO are two of the friendliest people I have ever met. I really wouldn’t change a thing about Encompass. Their willingness to bring me on and help craft my skills was a truly humbling experience and I am thankful for them!