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Hira Saleem's Internship with Bell Helicopter

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As a business administration major at the Naveen Jindal School of Management concentrating in innovation and entrepreneurship, Hira Saleem became an intern at Bell Helicopter to learn more about human resources and broaden her knowledge of the business world. In this interview, Hira describes all she learned from her experience, and gives tips for students following in her footsteps.

Where did you intern, and what was your experience like?

I was an intern at Bell Helicopter in Fort Worth. My internship experience was really great because I was able to learn more about HR, as well as helicopters and the industry.

How did you get your internship in HR at Bell Helicopter?

I wanted to work within the DFW area, so I googled “companies headquartered in Fort Worth,” which is closer to where I live. From there, I selected Bell Helicopter, and I went to their website to look into the internships they offered.

What resources on campus did you use to get your internship?

I heard about Bell Helicopter recruiting interns from the engineering school at the Career Center, and assumed they would also be recruiting for business internships so I looked on their website. I did a mock interview with the Jindal Career Management Center, which was helpful in preparing me for the internship interview.

What advice can you give to students currently looking for an internship? Where should they begin their search?

Decide what industry and location you want to work in. From there, narrow down your options and then look into the company’s website.

Did you come across any problems while looking for an internship, or while you were an intern?

A: While I was an intern, I had to learn the different hierarchies that are within each organization. My prior internship was a small nonprofit where I could stop by the CEO’s office, and it was no big deal. At a big company, however, it was not like that at all. So learning that was a challenge.

Do you have any embarrassing stories from your internship?

I contacted someone outside of the organization that I was not supposed to contact, and the communications department got a hold of it. I was in trouble for contacting that person. But they said it’s a common mistake made by interns so it was OK.

Hira made friends with several of the other 150 interns in the Bell intern program

Is there something that you wish you would’ve known before going into the internship?

I wish I had known the different rules that are in place in bigger companies. They’re not like small companies regarding who you are allowed to talk to and the protocol there is for each step you take in a process.

Is there any advice you have to give to students who have gotten an internship and are about to start?

Just don’t worry. It’s going to be easy; it’s going to be fun; and you’re going to learn a lot, regardless of what industry or position you’re in.

Hira is in the cockpit at the Bell Helicopter facility in Fort Worth, Texas

Did you have any fun activities outside the internship? Was there a good ratio of work and play?

It was a lot of fun because Bell Helicopter actually has an intern program, so they try to get all the interns together. There were about 150 of us, so they arranged weekend events like going to movies, different “Lunch and Learn” events to learn about all their different helicopters, and other events to get all of the interns together.

What was the biggest take-away from your internship?

My biggest take-away was definitely learning about human resources, because I didn’t know much about it before. I had only taken an introductory course on HR, so I learned that there are a lot of different departments within human resources that work together to recruit and to help the organization run properly.

Why is it important to get an internship?

Employers aren’t really looking for someone based solely off of a good GPA or extracurricular involvement. They want someone who is well-rounded and has experience in that setting. Plus, it is a requirement to graduate.

Would you say that companies hire people based off experience and attitude, or things on paper, like their GPA and classes?

From working in human resources, I actually know that they definitely focus more on experience, how you react in the interview, what your personality is like, and how you would fit into the company.

Do you have anything else you want to add?

When I was a freshman, I was focused on getting a good GPA, because I thought that was what they were looking for. People want to hire people, not what’s on paper. Not a GPA or the activities that you’ve done. Think of your long-term goals and keep those in mind.

Gaby Mokry

Gaby is pursuing her MS Marketing program at The Jindal School of Management. Before coming to UT Dallas, she gained experience at traditional and digital advertising agencies. She appreciates a freshly brewed cup of joe and spends her free time surrounding herself with creative projects, Netflix binges and biking on White Rock Lake. Read more articles

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