Why an Internship Outside Your Major Could Lead to Your True Calling

Alyssa Greenfield
Why an Internship Outside Your Major Could Lead to Your True Calling
Sponsored by, Danone

Before her senior year, Kristina Albano never considered a career in human resources. In fact, the marketing and supply chain major admits she didn’t know much about the field at all.

Still, as she was figuring out how to spend the summer after her junior year, an HR marketing internship listing at Danone (the company behind everything from Evian water to OIKOS greek yogurt), caught her eye. She applied on a whim and made it into the program. By the end of the summer, she had a new passion and was ready to leave marketing and supply chain behind.

When Kristina went back to school at the end of the summer, all she could think about was how badly she wanted to go back. Now, she’s Danone’s Talent Acquisition and Campus Coordinator.

Here’s what Kristina wants you to know about a career in HR (and being open to any new career path):

Your People Skills Will Go a Long Way
You won’t find “people skills” on the syllabus of a college class, but if you’ve got a knack for getting along with every single person you meet, you might hold the secret weapon to a successful HR career. In HR, you’re often the first person a potential candidate interacts with, so your ability to connect with them and sell the company is huge.

It Can Be a Super Creative Field
You might associate human resources with lots of paperwork and endless interviews, but that’s not all it’s about. Kristina says her proudest accomplishment as an intern was planning a national sales day in New York City for Danone Waters of America, one of Danone’s brands. To help make the event a success, Kristina worked on everything from the food menu to a book filled with fun facts about Evian’s employees that was handed out at the event. “I got to see everything I worked on for a month come to life,” she says. “Even our General Manager gave me a shout-out over the microphone!”

You Might Learn Some Unexpected Skills
As an intern for Danone Waters of America, Kristina got some surprise coding experience when she was tasked with building an internal website to house information for all employees. Even though she never coded before, she learned how to make it work by studying an older site model. The project was a success and employees are still using it today.

Your Work Can Impact the Entire Company
Since she now works in talent acquisition at Danone, Kristina has a direct role in pushing along the process of hiring new talent. She’s also working on campus coordination, helping Danone build a top-notch campus program so more and more amazing interns return to the company full-time after graduation. She also gets to visit career fairs and talk directly with interested students.

Kristina’s story is proof that your perfect career path may be one you never even considered. And there’s no better time than an internship to discover that. So if a listing catches your eye, apply! You never know how one amazing opportunity could change your career course for the better.

By the way, Danone is hiring. Head over to WayUp to explore their open positions and apply!

To learn more about a career in human resources, click here.