Student Spotlight: Olivia Hoffman

Olivia Hoffman is a senior Marketing major with a concentration in Digital Marketing and Analytics and a minor in Management. Early in Olivia’s college career, she made it a priority to get involved in extracurricular activities and try new things. Olivia recalls that the most important step she took as an undergraduate was exposing herself to areas outside of Marketing. Through experiences like joining the Learning Community Council’s Recruitment Committee instead of the Marketing Committee and participating in the First Year Experience Program as a Mentor, Olivia got a taste of what different career paths looked like and new opportunities. Another important step Oliva took was making sure to network. “We hear all the time from professors and faculty that networking is important, but networking is so much more than a buzzword. The only way I discovered my past internship and the role I am pursuing after graduation was by striking up a conversation with a friend of a friend who worked at the company – if I had not taken the time to network with her and ask her about her job, I would have missed out on the perfect opportunity for me.” This past summer, Olivia worked as a Human Resources Corporate Intern at CVS Health. The internship lasted 10 weeks from June through August 2022. At the conclusion of her internship, Olivia accepted a return offer to join the company’s Human Resources Leadership Development Program (HRLDP) after graduation, which is a three-year rotational program based in Hartford, CT.

When looking for internship roles, Olivia had certain criteria in mind. She knew she wanted to work for a large company with a strong company culture and a mission she believed in. She also wanted to work somewhere that invested in early career talent. “That can mean something different to everyone, but to me, that meant a company that offered Leadership Development Programs after graduation and other talent development opportunities catered to recent graduates. CVS Health checked all of those boxes, and when I joined the company this summer, I was even happier than I expected to be.” Although interns were primarily virtual this past summer, Olivia made the most out of her experience. Most days, She would attend meetings with her team to discuss and work on projects and participate in development workshops offered to interns. CVS Health placed a large emphasis on networking, so over the summer Olivia was able to set up 30 minute “coffee chats” with 50 human resources professionals across different areas of the business. Olivia states, “It is important to keep in mind that as an intern, your entire internship is also an opportunity to showcase your skills and company fit; that played a large part in the process for receiving a full-time offer” Olivia recalls her favorite part of her internship was when CVS Health hosted all 300+ corporate interns for a week in their Hartford, CT office for their Intern Summit event. “Although I had completed other internships prior to this role, this was the first time that I was truly in an office setting for full-time work due to the pandemic. That week really transformed my perspective on the workplace and allowed me to gain a better understanding of what office culture looks like, which cannot be communicated through a Zoom call. It was an overwhelmingly positive experience that influenced my choice to join the company full-time next June.”

One piece of advice Olivia has to offer other undergraduates is to look early and often for roles, but to also understand the timeline for your industry. “Sometimes you might find that perfect job listing in October, but most often the timeline may look different. It can be disheartening to consistently look for Marketing roles early in the year and to not find many, but once you realize that the Marketing recruiting timeline leans more towards the Spring semester, it can alleviate some worry.” Olivia also wants to emphasize how incredibly important it is to network as much as you can. “UConn students have such a large alumni network who want to see UConn students succeed, so take advantage of that! Attend events on campus where you can connect with employers and take the time to build genuine relationships before the internship or full-time role you want is even on the table so that you are top-of-mind when application time comes.”