Schwab’s Intern Academy is an annual summer internship program that provides college upperclassmen the unique ability to experience Schwab’s culture of service and explore different learning opportunities. With an array of business tracks to choose from, interns engage in career-specific activities and work on projects that make a real impact on the business, all while creating lasting relationships with their peers and teammates.
Hannah E., Talent Acquisition Manager and former Intern Academy participant, details her journey from a Colorado State University Human Resources grad to full-time Schwab employee.
Keep reading to learn more about how Hannah ignited her career at Schwab!
How did you hear about Schwab’s internship program? What track and location did you intern at?
Hannah: I remember this very clearly, because at the time, I was looking at a lot of different internships with companies that didn’t fit my perspectives and values. And then I met Dan M., who came to speak to one of my HR (human resources) classes.
The way he lit up when talking about Schwab was enough for me to think, “I don't even care that I don't like working with numbers, I want to be at a company where people feel like Dan.” So, that's how I initially learned about Schwab.
Dan then helped me get on the Talent Acquisition track at Schwab’s Lone Tree, Colorado office, which was a brand-new track at the time.
Where did you go to school and what did you major in? Did you always want to go into Talent Acquisition?
Hannah: I went to Colorado State University in Fort Collins and ended up majoring in Human Resources. I would have never guessed that I would be in talent acquisition because I disliked interviewing people, but I'm so glad that I'm here now. It's the right fit because it's more than just acquiring talent – it's relationship management.
Let's fast forward and talk about your promotion. What is your current role?
Hannah: So, at the base of it, I work to ensure business continuity and minimize disruption by hiring great talent. As a manager, I strive to make sure that I'm marrying people with the right career opportunities, which in-turn helps us create a relationship of trust with clients.
Also, I don't even know if this goes along with the question, but I was able to buy a house. And the reason why I was able to buy a house is because during the Intern Academy, you go through financial wealth and management training. During that time, I remember that we had to write down what we want to accomplish in the near-future, and I wrote that I wanted to have a house by the time I was 25. Then, I met with a financial consultant and was able to make that happen. I signed my contract on my 24th birthday.
Since your internship, how has your career progressed at Schwab? How has Schwab supported you with leadership, training, and development?
Hannah: I am where I am today because of the opportunities that I've been able to create for myself, and because of the leadership and support I’ve received.
After my internship, I was hired as an entry level associate and quickly realized how committed Schwab is to the growth and development of their employees. They really look at their people and ask, “are we doing the right work at the right level...(and) do our people have the right resources?”
Their recognition of the level of work I was doing helped me move into a senior specialist role, and then eventually into my current talent advisor role within three years. At other companies, you know, that could be five or ten years for some people, but we just care so much about wanting to do right by employees and help them get to where they want to be.
Do you feel like you were supported transitioning from an intern to a full-time employee?
Hannah: I received good support as an intern and was empowered to want to do great things here. So, yeah, I was given all the right tools and resources. But I also had the opportunity to try and figure things out on my own and grow in my own way. And that combination supported my professional development.
I also think that the emotional support piece is so big. Even though Schwab is a huge firm, I think we do a really good job with emotional support and making it feel like a small, tight knit family.
For other interns who are getting ready to start their internship at Schwab (or another company), what advice would you give to them? How can they be successful in their internship?
Hannah: A couple things come to mind. First and foremost, always focus on what you can control, like your attitude and your effort. Another good piece of advice is something that Charles Schwab said himself, which was that when someone puts limits on what they believe they can do, they end up limiting what they will do. So, if you go beyond what you believe you can do, you're going to build and expand yourself.
I’d also mention the mantra that Talent Acquisition Managing Director Chris E. says, which is that we should “fail and fail fast.” Failure is our first attempt in learning, and that's important. If you're not willing to do that, then you're going to make life harder for yourself.
One final thing that’s been vital to my success is that I strive to add value to others, and I feel like that's a revolving door. When you add value to others, they come back and add value to you. Thankfully we work at a company where the motto is “Schwab nice.” Although everyone's doing that anyway, there's a different level when you actively try to do your best for others.
Where do you hope to see your career in the next 5 years?
Hannah: That's a good question. Long-term, I am hoping to move into the HR business partner side and be that foundation between policy and employee value. One thing I love about Schwab is that I am getting the support right now to advance into that role. I’ve been looking at things like certificates, my master’s degree, or even doing different stretch assignments and career building opportunities. Those are all things I put on my individual development plan for five years down the line. So that's where I hope to be.