Nathan Miller is a current Senior graduating May 2024 with a double major in Marketing and an Individualized Major of Humane Technology Design. In order to prepare himself for the professional world, Nathan “made sure to stand out on paper”. Nathan took advantage of his first few semesters at UConn being online and started to develop his resume with various professional experiences. He started small, doing some branding and design work at a local historical society, joining campus organizations, and building an online portfolio.
“I made sure that I wasn’t just joining organizations or doing things to look good but contributing to my interests and growth in a meaningful way,” Nathan recalls.
This past summer, Nathan completed a ten-week Experience Design Internship with Travelers Insurance. During this time, Nathan was able to work with people both internal and external to Travelers; as an intern under an operations manager, he learned all about how design and marketing fits into Travelers’ different business units. Nathan’s days would vary between working on research/design projects, setting up meetings and benchmark evaluations, and sometimes even attending intern-oriented events that Travelers hosted. He even got to spend a whole week at the PGA tour for the marketing team!
“I met so many amazing people during my time at Travelers and learned a lot about corporate operations and culture,” he says.
Nathan’s favorite experience from his internship was being given the opportunity to participate in Travelers’ internal hackathon, InJam.
“This was a spur-of-the-moment project that I developed after a sidebar conversation about AI in a team meeting,” Nathan explains, “For the hackathon, I prototyped an AI-powered web browser tool that would allow users to more easily navigate “terms and conditions” pages for digital products and services. Both the purpose of this project and the nature of its development made it one of the best parts of my internship”.
Nathan originally had applied for a generic marketing position at Travelers but was placed into a more specialized role that aligned more closely with his skills and background in design. Nathan looks back on the Traveler’s interview experience positively, stating “My interview was the shortest I had experienced all season; I felt the hiring manager and I had a strong connection that made us both feel comfortable and ready for more conversation. I received a call back within 24 hours, and accepted the position!”
This experience was vastly different from his application process, which Nathan described as “arduous” and “frustrating”. To other undergraduate students going through this stressful process, Nathan offers the following advice:
1. Don’t mindlessly apply: I applied to maybe one hundred internships last season, and a lot of my applications would consist of sending in a briefly tailored resume and a template-based cover letter. Not only was this a poor reflection of my capabilities as a potential employee, but also the constant stream of rejections I faced was demoralizing. I would suggest applying to each job like it is your dream company–strive to stand out. I’m not referring to the rhetoric you use in your cover letters and resume bullets, but rather the strategies you use to gain connections within your target company. Take advantage of your alumni network, become a LinkedIn personality, and get creative with how you can differentiate yourself!
2. Start early: Get all of your documents and interview preparation ready as soon as possible. Internship applications are opening all the time, both before and after the seasonal surge. Start researching companies on LinkedIn, Reddit, etc. Practice your interviews with Google’s Interview Prep Tool. Have your resume looked over by a writing center resource, your professors or your advisor.
3. Keep learning: If you feel like you aren’t where you would like to be in terms of career competitiveness, there are many resources which can help advance your position. I love keeping up with the School of Business’s events, attending career fairs, and following career-oriented professionals on social media (particularly TikTok). By subscribing to newsletters and signing up for opportunities, you open yourself up to networking and learning potential that can help you get one step closer to a position!