Life at DHG Blog

Reflections on my DHG Internship

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Jay Smith, an HR intern in DHG’s Charlotte market and rising sophomore at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, is a young professional striving for excellence by utilizing her love of communication to impact the world of business. Jay was introduced to DHG during a Co-Op she participated in with the Young Black Leadership Alliance (YBLA). Continue reading to learn more about Jay and her internship experience.

How did you land an internship with DHG?

I became an Ambassador with the Young Black Leadership Alliance (YBLA). YBLA formed a partnership with DHG in Charlotte and before I could blink, I was signing on to work at DHG! At that point, I was not yet an intern, I was a Co-Op student. I was a rising junior in high school when I signed my offer. I was nervous yet determined. I remember I cut all my hair off a few months before I began working and I was feeling on edge about that. I had a short afro with 2 curls in it. One in the front and one on the side. Far from cute. I had preconceived notions of what corporate America would be like. As a black woman with a short afro, I knew I stuck out like a sore thumb before I could even take my seat at the table. My biggest fear was being judged on my physical appearance before I could even submit my first report.

My initial worries were the exact opposite of what actually took place. I was embraced with open arms and never judged by the things that didn’t matter. At our firm, we value authenticity and inclusiveness. The entire team leans on one another and recognizes that we cannot go far if we run separately. At DHG, it’s a no-judgment zone, and that propelled me personally and professionally.

What’s the most valuable lesson you learned during your DHG internship?

The biggest takeaway from my experience is to always set yourself up for success by placing yourself in an environment in which you are appreciated. Surround yourself with people who want to see you thrive personally and professionally.

What advice would you give other students interested in pursuing an internship?

Embrace change! If the time for a change has presented itself, allow that transition to transpire. I took my opportunity and seized it. Turns out, I couldn’t be happier with the internship and the value I added to the firm throughout the summer. I also realized there is always knowledge to be absorbed. Be open to that and allow your brain to be a sponge. Corporate America can be challenging. It is a world that is ever-changing with a pace that doesn’t slow down for anybody. Ask for help when you need it. Embrace change and remember, if you don’t ask for feedback, you will be stagnate.

What do you like to do for fun away from the office?

I enjoy walking my dog (a miniature Yorkie named Isabella), journaling, watching horror and comedy movies, and spending quality time with friends and family. My life is upbeat and busy, so whenever I have the chance to lie down and binge watch Grey’s Anatomy, I’m all in! The Chi is also an incredible show as well.