Hannah Penberthy Shares Valuable Experience in Securing a Summer Internship

PPE major, Hannah Penberthy, shares her experience in securing an internship for Summer 2023.

Hannah, can you tell us a little about your internship?

This summer, I will be interning as a Contracts Intern at BAE Systems, a multinational aerospace company. I will be working closely with staff executives to prepare and execute documents such as non-disclosure agreements, review contract modifications, and compile contractual records and documents in accordance with general contract requirements and company policies.

How did you learn about this internship opportunity?

I found this internship opportunity on Handshake! Handshake is an amazing website available for Virginia Tech students that provides lots of internship and job opportunities.

What was the application process like?

The application process started with me sending my resume, cover letter, and other application materials to BAE Systems. About a week later, I received an email that I had been selected for a first-round interview. I interviewed through Zoom with two of the senior company representatives and it went really well! Two to three weeks later, I found out that I was selected for a second-round interview. About a month after the second interview (in January), I was officially offered a spot in the internship program!

What experience do you hope to gain during your internship?

Overall, I just really hope to gain career related experience. I am excited to learn from professionals in the field and see if this type of work is something that I want to pursue long-term. There is the possibility of a full-time position offer being extended at the end of the summer. This is something that I am excited about and worth to be taken into consideration as well!

How do you think the PPE program at Virginia Tech has prepared you for this internship?

As a Contracts Intern, I will be doing a lot of writing and critical thinking. The PPE program has perfectly prepared me for this! In my PPE course, I have not only been challenged to write different types of papers, but I have also learned how to critically analyze other people’s work and develop my own argument and analysis.

Along with these hard skills, the program has also given me soft skills, such as public speaking, teamwork, and confidence. I have done a lot of group work and presentations in my classes and during my time as a PPE Undergraduate Student Ambassador. I believe that all these skills will help me excel in my internship!

Is there any other information that you would like to provide to current and prospective PPE students?

A piece of advice that I would give to current and prospective PPE students is that there is so much you can do with this major. While going through the internship application process, I was applying for jobs ranging from policy work, to consulting, auditing, government, and even finance. There is so much flexibility with the PPE major!

Also, when applying for an internship, do not get discouraged. Since tons of students are all vying for summer internships, it can get really competitive. You most likely will not hear back from some of the places you applied. However, you just have to keep going! Apply early on in the school year and apply to as many as you can. You can do it!

Share this post: