Patient, proactive approach works well for telecommunications major

Nina Trach
September 27, 2019

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Building toward a career as a college student can take time, and one Penn State student has practiced a patient, proactive approach well.

Evan Rooney, a senior telecommunications major, worked with Amazon Web Services (AWS) in Seattle as a sales and business development intern this past summer. Although it was the summer entering his senior year, Rooney said earning the opportunity was a cumulation of work he had put in since his freshman year.

Building freshman and sophomore experiences as a merchandiser and marketing analyst intern for Mondelez International and TransRe in New York City, Rooney began contacting Amazon recruiters through LinkedIn during his sophomore year.

“I saw how Amazon was pretty much infiltrating every facet of life — from movies and TV shows to how we get groceries,” Rooney said. “I knew that I wanted a way in.”

After connecting with an account manager from his hometown of Westfield, New Jersey, Rooney conducted informational interviews and eventually secured his internship with AWS.

In the sales and business development role, Rooney worked closely with the company’s cloud services, helping to look at customer business drivers and heading up a database campaign to strengthen customer relationships. He also created a cloud fluency newsletter, which helped C-suite executives to understand how they could best leverage the cloud in their companies.

Some of Rooney’s greatest takeaways from the experience revolved around getting to network and operate in a unique corporate setting.

“Whatever company you’re at, you should try to meet as many people, try to build as many relationships and also really put yourself in the culture of the company to see if it’s a fit for you,” Rooney said.

To take his relationship building one step further, Rooney started an intern podcast, “Rooney’s Room,” to get to know other people at Amazon and their career experiences. He said it was important for him to take advantage of every opportunity possible while working in the Emerald City.

Rooney can already see his experience translating into motivation for his senior year at Penn State.

“The work ethic and the overall sort of drive that I had at my internship sort of just carried over into this year,” he said. “I was kind of on 100% of the time and now I come over here and the gears are still moving, I’m thinking big.”

Rooney credits his AWS experience for reminding him the importance of getting out of his comfort zone and putting his best foot forward as he searchers for opportunities in technology sales after graduation.

A self-taught musician and senior overall THON chair for the Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity, Rooney is looking forward to soaking up all that Happy Valley has to offer before graduating in May, while putting his skills learned at AWS to work.

Last Updated September 27, 2019