Expectations Exceeded: The Realities of my Summer At UPMC

It was May 25th, the day before my 11-week internship with UPMC was to begin. For months, that day had been approaching—slowly, but surely. But that day was essentially here now, and I truly didn’t know what to expect from here on out.

Although I often try to go into new experiences with as few expectations as possible, I simply couldn’t help but be curious about what my summer with UPMC would entail. What would it be like to finally be working in a corporate setting? To finally leave the classroom and apply what I’ve learned to real-world situations? To finally have the opportunity to work with highly motivated professionals in my desired field of study? The reality of the situation suddenly hit me; in just a few hours, I would no longer be a mere student at a university. I would be an employee at UPMC, one of the most prominent health care enterprises in the entire world. It was undoubtedly a daunting thought to consider. And yet, interestingly enough, that same thought inspired an excitement from within that I hadn’t felt in a very long time. I was about to take the very first steps of my career, something I had been anxiously waiting to do for as long as I can remember.

I expected my co-workers to be friendly, decent people. I expected the work I would be given to be, for the most part, meaningful and relevant. And I knew that UPMC truly valued community service, but to what degree, I was not certain. Now, however, having completed my internship with UPMC, I can safely say this: my expectations were exceeded.

I had yet to truly appreciate the value in surrounding myself with the right people. People who were like-minded, equally driven, and proud of the work they did. There is certainly no shortage of such individuals at UPMC, where I learned that collaboration, accountability, and common courtesy were commonplace. Additionally, I never expected to be personally responsible for projects that were actually important. Within the first few weeks, I was knee-deep in assignments that actually meant something! I was given opportunities to work with my fellow employees to help complete projects that would ultimately help UPMC continue to grow and prosper. Lastly, UPMC chose to demonstrate the importance of giving back to the community through various philanthropic events, office-wide or even company-wide. I expected that we, as interns, might be given the chance to help the surrounding communities through UPMC. And we were given the chance—several, actually.

My diverse experiences with this company have been genuinely engaging and rewarding. From working with my fellow interns to completing process improvement projects to helping clean the streets of downtown Pittsburgh, UPMC proved to exceed expectations—time and time again.

Kyle Chapman, Finance Summer Associate