Finance major Karly Statter began looking for a summer internship during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. She built up her resiliency through a series of rejection emails as uncertainty in the economy grew.
“This was a defeating feeling I will never forget,” Statter said. “However, I kept trying. I emailed about 10 financial services companies in Lincoln letting them know why I would be a good addition to their team and that I would love an opportunity to represent their company.”
As a junior in the College of Business at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Statter finally received a call for an informational interview. Bob Bennie Wealth Management in Lincoln reached out to learn more about her.
“They told me they weren’t looking to hire anyone, but were so impressed with how I worded my résumé they wanted to meet me and see what I could offer. By the end of that interview, they created a job for me, and I have had an incredible experience working there,” she said.
The Cary, Illinois, native credits her résumé and interview skills to the Professional Enhancement Program (PrEP) classes taught by the Business Career Center and Clifton Strengths Institute faculty and staff, who helped her stand out from the crowd and prepare for interviews. Required for every undergraduate College of Business student, the four PrEP courses include developing natural strengths, creating a résumé, practicing for interviews and networking with employer partners.
Statter, who received so much from the PrEP courses, decided to apply to work as a peer career coach in the college to help other students. Soon, she found herself deciding between three offers.
“An hour after I was offered the job at Bob Bennie Wealth Management, Hudl also called and offered me an internship. I went from feeling defeated to wondering which of the three jobs to accept. These great opportunities only came because I did not let rejection define what my future was going to look like, and I kept going until I achieved success,” Statter said.
She decided to accept all three as they offered different experience in areas such as customer service, finance, problem solving, coaching and explaining products. However, her trio of opportunities shared one common theme: serving others.
Janessa Hageman, assistant director of the Business Career Center, said Statter’s perseverance set her apart in her internship search.
“Karly is a go-getter. As a PrEP student, she stayed focused and drew on what she learned in the course. At the same time, she reflected on finding opportunities that aligned with her values of helping others. Drawing on her top strengths and gaining professional development skills, she now helps others navigate the same professional development process from firsthand experience,” Hageman said.
In October, the Nebraska Business Student Advisory Board named Statter the Student of the Month. Nominated by a fellow student for her hard work, positive leadership and encouragement of others, Statter continues to serve as a peer career coach in the College of Business in her senior year and is involved in Delta Sigma Pi student organization, along with continuing her internships.
“If I’m going to be a part of something, I want to do it to the very best of my ability and make it count,” she said. “My education is very important to me, and I want to make that matter. Assisting students to develop professionally has been rewarding, and I can't wait to continue to make a difference in more student's career searches.”
Now as Statter begins to look at life beyond college, she knows she will graduate with much more than a diploma.
“I have grown beyond what I ever could have imagined, and I believe this is because I made sure not to just go through the motions. Nebraska taught me that you get out as much as you put into life, and if you make your time here matter, it will,” she said.
Learn more about the Business Career Center’s Professional Enhancement Program at https://business.unl.edu/prep.