BY: ELLIE RUDMAN
Last year at this time, if you had told me I would be working for Capital One, I probably wouldn’t have believed you. I am a marketing and management major, horrible at math, and could not imagine myself working at a bank. However, after meeting Katie Sanchez and Katie Derbyshire at the UD Fall Career fair, that quickly changed. Their passion and excitement for the company was overwhelming. They explained to me that Capital One is not your average bank. It is run more like a start-up, with the benefits of a large business. The more I learned about the company and the Retail Management Development Program, the more I aspired to be involved. I felt so blessed when I was offered the position over my winter session.
Capital One hired ten UD students, including myself, for their pilot Retail Management Development Program. Sanchez and Derbyshire greeted us at our new office, and right away I was impressed with how organized and engaged our managers were. This was not going to be a “get me some coffee” internship. This was going to be five weeks full of hard work and real accomplishments. My first impression was not wrong.
A large part of the program consisted of developmental workshops and meetings with senior leadership. From this we were able to better understand (and fall in love with) the company’s culture and community’s personality. I was given a mentor, Meghan Erdman, and a Development Advisor, Dean Rowley. The opportunities and feedback they provided me with went above and beyond my expectations. I could not believe how engaged these busy executives were in the program and in my personal success within Capital One. I cannot thank them enough for their support.
The primary focus of the internship was project based. The ten of us were split into 3 teams. Each team was given a research assignment with the objective of identifying improvement opportunities and making recommendations that will achieve those goals. Our research consisted of listening to sales calls from the call center, interviewing sales associates and coaches, and analyzing data. Our final deliverables included a training video that is now shown to sales associates and a presentation of our findings to approximately 50 people.
While the work was challenging, and I was pushed way out of my comfort zone over the course of five weeks (in only the best ways), I came away most impressed with the organization itself, the people, and the emphasis that Capital One has on developing talent. I cannot imagine a more fulfilling and successful step in my early professional development than what I experienced with Capital One, and I would recommend the program and the organization to anyone seeking a similar opportunity.
Ellie Rudman is currently a junior marketing and management major with an advertising minor. She is a member of the Hens All Access team and social media ambassador program. Also, she is a sister of Alpha Xi Delta.