Jake Leibold, Intern, "If you want an internship that delivers actual real-world experience and not just a line on your resume, this is the place to find it."
When you are an intern, I think that most people have the mindset that I did: You won’t really be contributing to the business, you will just be getting everyone coffee. But at OppLoans that hasn’t been the case at all. Not only am I contributing to the business, but my supervisor tells me everyday how my input is valued just as much as anyone else.
It hasn’t been like that at every place I’ve interned. Last summer, as a rising junior at the University of Minnesota, I had an internship at an options trading firm where I was pretty much an afterthought. I had two tasks per day that I was given to complete—each of which only took about a half hour. The rest of the day I was left to my own devices. Basically, I got left in the dust.
OppLoans is the total opposite. I’m interning in the finance department, and every day brings something new. I’m working with the treasury team, sitting in on meetings with senior leaders, working with the finance team to investigate how we can improve our processes, and conducting competitive analysis and industry research.
Through all this work, I’m getting a fantastic overhead view of the business. Even in the finance department, everyone still keeps the customer at the front of their mind. No matter what decision is being made, the exceptional customer experience that OppLoans has become known for is our number one priority. If it won’t work for our customers, then it won’t work, period.
OppLoans invests time and resources into its interns. And in return, they expect us to produce. That means an actual opportunity to contribute. Even though we don’t have the 10 to 20 years of industry experience like our bosses, they recognize that we have a fresh perspective, which is valuable in its own right.
My managers have been so outgoing and eager to include me in everything they do. They are always making sure that I have a project to work on and asking me how things are going. Whenever I have a question, they’re glad to answer it. They set clear expectations and they’re offering constant feedback to let me know how I’m doing. And from a more personal standpoint, they have made me feel like I’m a part of the team.
And that sense of openness extends to leadership, too. Not only have I gotten to work alongside our CFO, Shiven Shah, I’ve also gotten to sit down with our CEO, Jared Kaplan. He has open office hours on Fridays, and we talked about Jared’s career path and the choices I have before me, as well as the future of OppLoans itself.
Jared is open and genuine in a way that I haven’t really experienced before. At my previous internship, I never even met the CEO. At OppLoans, I see him around the office every day. With every passing day, it’s increasingly clear to me how Jared’s example has trickled down throughout the rest of the company. OppLoans doesn’t just talk the talk, it walks the walk. If you want an internship that delivers actual real-world experience and not just a line on your resume, this is the place to find it.