Big Businesses Mean Big Opportunities for College Students: Why ruling out corporate jobs is a mistake

In today’s world of young startups and quirky agencies, the idea of working in a large corporate office may seem intimidating to some. This past summer, Seth Winslow, a developer with the Digital Corps did just that. His internship at Eli Lilly in Indianapolis proved to be an unforgettable experience and made him rethink the Fortune 500 office stereotype.

Seth was hired as an IT intern along with 32 other applicants.

“It was a little intimidating walking through the doors the first day at corporate, with their waterfall and marble floors. But, it was wonderful. We got to meet a lot of people that are higher up in the company.”

Later in the internship, the IT interns met with Aarthi Shah, one of the Senior Vice Presidents and CIO of Eli Lilly. They later attended a presentation with David Ricks, the CEO of the company. Seth quickly learned that as an organization with over 40,000 employees worldwide, Lilly does tons of philanthropic work.

Corporate Can Still Have Culture

While Seth did have a cubicle at Lilly, the company culture was not what he expected from a stereotypical corporate office.

“With a 40,000 person organization, you come across new people every single day. Whether that be a one-on-one meeting just to learn more about the IT world, or just to learn more about Lilly,” said Seth.

Eli Lilly employees participate in the annual Day of Service, where time is taken from the day to simply lend a helping hand, all across the world. While Seth’s internship ended before the official Day of Service, Seth and many other participated in a special Intern Day of Service.

“The IT interns actually did a Day of Service where we went to a local high school and we helped do some summer cleaning. Cleaning gum off lockers, moving tables, a lot of painting, pulling weeds. We were really just trying to get their building ready for the upcoming school year.”

Seth continued to learn about Lilly’s emphasis on company culture. Every intern was required to participate in 20 one-on-one interviews with other Lilly employees. He learned that there are people who have been working at Eli Lilly for more than 30 years!At Lilly, everything is a two-way street. They want to keep all of their employees happy in every aspect of life.

The Future of IT at Lilly

After his internship, Seth was offered and accepted a full-time position within the information technology department at Lilly. He realized, “Lilly has been there with me since day one, guiding me through the process and seeing if I have any questions.”

He found that the industry in Downtown Indianapolis is growing, his passion for computer science and IT is ever-expanding, and he, just as everybody else in the Indianapolis office, is passionate about Lilly’s mission.

“They’re passionate about the work they do. We’re making lives better, faster.”

Seth wants his peers and other students interested in technology to understand that small startups, or new agencies aren’t the only option if you’re searching for a welcoming environment with a fun-loving culture. Starting at a Fortune 500 company may be intimidating at first, but being open to changes and new ideas is essential to success. But above all else, loving what you do will make or break your career.