Volz builds on liberal arts background, alumni support to land Goldman Sachs job

A finance internship with Goldman Sachs was not on Jennifer Volz’s radar when she started looking at internship opportunities for this past summer. However, after attending several recruitment events, the West Islip, New York native and Penn State student decided to give it a try. Fast forward to fall of her senior year and Volz had already accepted a full-time position with the investment banking firm in their Finance Division. She will be doing product control for the Merchant Banking Division.

Volz, majoring in international politics, was accepted to the Chapel Executive Internship Program, which gave her a $5,000 stipend so she could afford to work and live in New York City.

The Virginia Todd Chapel Executive Internship Program was established by Virginia ‘Jinnie’ Todd Chapel and her husband, John, with leadership gifts creating a $2 million endowment. When fully funded, the program will provide $5,000 internship awards to nearly 20 students each year, under the direction of the Career Enrichment Network in the College of the Liberal Arts. Volz was among 12 Chapel interns interviewed and selected this past summer.

The Chapel Executive Internship Program encourages liberal arts students who excel academically to pursue premium internships in the private sector. Not only did the internship experience give Volz a better sense of the different opportunities available to liberal arts students, it solidified her plans to work in the private sector.

“Like many others, I came into Penn State not knowing what I wanted to do after graduation, but after this internship I know I want to work in a fast-paced, high pressure environment that values entrepreneurship.”

“I was a little worried that I was too late to the game in terms of finding a job in the finance world considering I had chosen a major in liberal arts. However, at Goldman Sachs, a diverse academic background and worldview is extraordinarily valued and appreciated. I was able to set myself apart as a liberal arts student and use skill sets others with more exclusively quantitative backgrounds had not developed as fully.”

“Employers of all sorts demand the skills that a liberal arts education cultivates in our students,” said Paul Taylor, associate dean for undergraduate studies in the College of the Liberal Arts. “Combine that with internship support from alumni like Jinnie and John, and there is really no limit to where our students can go.”

Volz appreciated the importance Goldman Sachs put on networking. She was encouraged to set up brief meetings with different coworkers in the office each day, which gave her an opportunity to meet people in a variety of departments and levels of experience.

“I really encourage other students to apply for the Chapel Internship. Even if you don’t think working in the private sector is something you want to do, it’s worth it to just go for it. It will give you that experience that can’t be replicated in the classroom.”

Susan Knell, director of the Career Enrichment Network, said, "The support students have received as Chapel Executive Interns has allowed them to participate in meaningful internship experiences that have introduced them to a range of career and networking opportunities that would not have been possible otherwise."

Volz will start in her full-time position with Goldman Sachs this coming summer. Ten additional Chapel Executive Interns have already graduated and found meaningful work in a variety of fields. They include:

  • Gail Goochee 2014, Human Resources Leadership Program, GE Transportation
  • Nicolas Zavaleta 2015, analyst, Hintz Capital Management
  • Jamie Alkasmi 2015, business analyst, McKinsey & Company
  • Rose Velazquez 2015, executive assistant for government affairs, Consumer Healthcare Products Association
  • Todd Kahn 2015, human resources analyst, JP Morgan Chase & Co.
  • Carl Boswell 2014, global data analyst, Bloomberg LP
  • Alexandra Busalacchi 2015, "World News Tonight" intern, Disney ABC Television Group
  • Samantha Allen 2015, web assistant, Oprah.com
  • Anna Yosra Alterkawi 2014, analyst, JP Morgan Chase & Co.
  • Kate Rouleau 2015, corporate department case assistant, Paul Hastings Law Firm
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Last Updated May 19, 2016