“Creighton stood out to me because it has the opportunities of a larger university, but it still had the benefits of a much smaller school," said Heitman.
Alexa Heitman makes the most of the “Creighton advantage”
“My biggest piece of advice to freshman and sophomores on securing internships is to go to the Career Center! They are so knowledgeable and can always help guide your search and prepare for interviews,” says Alexa Heitman.
And she should know a few things about successful job applications. The junior accounting major, who is enrolled in the accelerated MAC program, has had multiple work experiences as an undergraduate. She has served as an internal audit intern for First National Bank of Omaha, a client accounting services intern with Frankel Zacharia, LLC, and a member of the audit team for Alpha Kappa Psi business fraternity.
With proper research and practice, internship opportunities early in your college career are within reach, Heitman believes.
First, research. Look into the company’s values, its services offered and areas of specialties and advancement paths within the company. Then, Heitman advises researching common interview questions and applying those questions to the company with which you are meeting.
“This can make your interview really stand out because it shows that you care about the company,” Heitman says.
Next, prepare. Schedule mock interviews with the Career Center via Handshake, Creighton’s online career management program. Also, “attend the bootcamps for your major when the Career Center hosts them,” says Heitman. These quick events are packed with helpful information.
Another way to prepare – and help ensure you get the interview to begin with – is to produce a polished cover letter, one tailored to the specific company. No need to reinvent the wheel; take advantage of the many templates the Career Center has on hand and adapt to your unique circumstances.
And, of course, focus on performing well in your classes and engage in campus activities and extracurriculars, not only to round out your CV but also to enjoy your college years.
Heitman is active on campus. She is a member of Alpha Kappa Psi; the Women in Business Club; and Creighton’s chapter of Circle K International, the world's largest collegiate community service and leadership development organization. She is a Menard Family Business Research Fellow with the Menard Family Institute for Economic Inquiry (MIEI) and also participates with the Politics, Philosophy and Economics Reading Group within MIEI.
Just being a Creighton student gives you an advantage in securing internships, Heitman believes.
“The companies that I interviewed with all thought very highly of Creighton University and the education it provides,” she says.
While her extracurriculars have repeatedly come up in interviews, they have, perhaps more importantly, introduced her to some of her best friends. The strong community that exists on campus is one of the reasons Heitman selected Creighton for her college experience.
“I attended the small school district my entire academic career before Creighton University, so I was used to knowing my classmates well and getting individualized attention from instructors,” the Sergeant Bluff, Iowa, native says. “Creighton stood out to me because it has the opportunities of a larger university, but it still had the benefits of a much smaller school.”
“From your very first classes at Creighton, your professors are going to make an effort to educate you far beyond the class material,” she continues. “Creighton, especially the Heider College of Business, is a really special place that will positively impact the entire direction of your life, from your friends to your career.”