Robin Bolme, BS Information Management with a minor in Psychology and Criminology, completed an internship at Fiat Chrysler this summer – leading to a full-time position upon her graduation at the Walker School. Below she answers questions about her internship and her experience at the Career & Internship Fair where she spoke with Fiat Chrysler.  

Q: What is your major and was it relevant to your internship position?

Robin Bolme

A: I am a senior studying Information Management which is a combination of computer science and management. I’ve always had a hard time finding internships because they want either a management or computer science major. The Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, FCA, sought a candidate that had both of this skills it was a perfect fit.

Q: Where did you first learn and interact with Fiat?

A: I had a really bad headache on the day of the internship fair. But something convinced me I needed to go so I made a quick resume update and went. The first and only company I talked with at the Career Planning & Development Fall Internship Fair was FCA. After our conversation I knew I didn’t need to talk to anyone else because it went so well. I stared the conversation by explaining my skill set combination and the recruiter said it would be a perfect fit. He then mentioned that he wished he had a psychology background to better understand the customer. I have a psychology minor, it was perfect.

I got a call for an on-campus interview later that day and the interview went so well. They said they would let me know in a couple of weeks about a hiring decision. So, I was very surprised when I got a call from the recruiter. I left class to answer and they offered me the internship on the spot because there were some candidates they were certain about. I went back to class beaming and tried to contain my excitement until it was over. I called my mom and said I would spend the summer in Detroit and she was happy for me and said, “We’ll make it work.”

Q: How was the relocation to Detroit?

A: I am from Tennessee so I am already five hours from home and then I was going to move to Detroit which was eight hours away from St. Louis. I knew my mom would miss me, but she was so supportive. FCA reimbursed me for my travel to Detroit and they found and paid for housing, which prevented a lot of stress on my part.

Q: Did you know anyone there?

A: There was only one other Webster University intern, Ellie Waggoner, and while I didn’t know her beforehand we became friends. We made up 2 of 400 interns. In my department, IT, there were 19 of us.

Q: How was your internship experience?

A: We had a lot of internship events for the entire class and exclusively to our department. IT got to go on three plant tours and after I asked for a tour of the data center we got to do that too. We did Ride and Drives, and for all the car fans out there: we learned how to drive manual in a 124 Spider. A profession driver drove us in the Hell Cat where we went up to 160 mph, which was terrifying. There were lots of car shows we were able to attend also.

I made a lot of friends with the interns in engineering so I had a friends outside of my department too. Some of the engineers would bring home 2018 model year cars to test drive, so I know what driving a “good” car, and one that no one else has been able to drive feels like! Never thought that was something I would know, but it’s a lot different than driving my own car.

I also got to travel Michigan with fellow interns. It was like we took weekend vacations, we went to the Michigan “beaches” which I didn’t know existed, but they were beautiful. My boyfriend also came to visit me and we had a great time except for a tipped over canoe that resulted in no phone GPS to get us back home. It ended up being a funny experience! I miss the friends I made there a lot.

Q: What does the future look like?

A: I have accepted a full time position as a manufacturing support analyst. I will be living in metro Detroit. Because of FAC’s awesome employee benefits, I’ll be buying my dream car, a Jeep Grand Cherokee. It will have to have snow tires since I will be in Michigan. It’s really nice not to have to worry about what I am going to do after graduation. It was the best decisions to accept the internship, but at the time it was also the hardest. I’ve played soccer my entire life and I would either play it my senior year or have an internship in Detroit. Clearly I accepted the internship and while I am sure many people didn’t understand it was what was best for my future, and it paid off. I joined the tennis team this fall through, so I was still able to be active in one way.

Q: What is your advice to students?

A: Well, this is tough, but I honestly started planning for my future pretty early on. I would talk to Brenda (Dr. Brenda Boyce, Associate Professor in the Math & Computer Science Department) about career options that were right for me. She has done so much for me throughout my entire college career. I owe a lot to her and “Marty” (Dr. Martha Smith, Chair and Professor in the Math & Computer Science Department) I guess I would summarize it to getting to know your professors, not getting discouraged, and be honest and open to find the right fit for yourself. Honesty is really important when choosing a career, because you won’t last long if you change yourself to fit a career. I was honest with my professors, recruiters, and myself which has led me to find the perfect fit.

 

 

1 Response » to “Q&A with Robin Bolme, Walker School Senior, Summer 2017 Fiat Chrysler Intern”

  1. News says:

    Hi..Very very good Article.Thank you for this.Have good day.