Wintrust bank adjusts internship program for college students

By Amanda Brennan

The coronavirus forced many companies across the nation to cancel their summer internship programs, leaving some college students confused and lost. 

But, some companies adapted and changed their office spaces not only for current employees but also for incoming summer interns, allowing students to learn and grow through internship programs. 

Wintrust Bank, for instance, created a solution for students to safely spend time in the office and expand their knowledge to help them succeed. The staff rotates in and out of the office biweekly. Half of the staff is in the office one week while the other half works from home, and the next week, they switch. 

Christina Moy, a rising junior studying accounting and finance, is a lucky University of Illinois student gaining real-world experience this summer through an internship with Wintrust. Moy, along with two other interns, work in the small business administration (SBA) department, where they will soon begin working on loan forgiveness with the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) once the SBA issues specific guidance. 

Wintrust’s website provides additional information regarding PPP loan forgiveness.

Moy was originally hired for commercial lending in Northbrook, Illinois, however, due to coronavirus, she was switched to the SBA headquarters in Arlington Heights, Illinois.  

I sat down with Moy to discuss her summer internship with Wintrust. 

This interview was edited for length. 

Amanda Brennan: What does a typical workday look like for you?

Christina Moy: “I’ve been working on small tasks that need to get done that haven’t been done yet. The typical day varies week to week. We work from home one week and then go into the office and work from the office the other week. While working from home has been nice, I have a hard time focusing all day. It’s also a lot easier to ask questions when I’m at work because I can hop over to my manager and ask her a question if I need to, instead of emailing or messaging her.” 

AB: What does it look like in the office? Do you have to wear masks?

CM: “The desks are pretty far apart. I’d say about five to six feet apart and only half of the staff was in [the office] at once because of the every other week thing. So, when we are in the office, there are only seven or eight people. It’s closed, so we don’t have customers coming in and out of the retail bank portion. So, it’s just the workers. We don’t wear masks, but the desks are very spread out so we aren’t really in close quarters until lunch.”

AB: How will this internship help you during school and in your future career?

CM: “I’ve already learned a lot of valuable lessons about communicating, asking questions, focusing on what’s important and also making mistakes. I’ve made plenty of mistakes, and they’ve been pretty easy to fix, thankfully.”

AB: What programs at school have helped shape your future career in accounting and finance?

CM: “I’m the vice president of finance for my sorority and I’m involved in Illinois Business Consulting as a consultant, which has been really fun. Those two organizations take up most of my time, but I really enjoy always learning through different organizations.”

Christina Moy, left, Katie Burke, right, both prepare for 2019 fall recruitment, and now serve on Alpha Omicron Pi’s leadership council

AB: What do you picture yourself doing after college?

CM: “Honestly, I don’t know! I think that’s what’s so great about an internship. Especially as a rising junior, we get to experience a different industry than one we might experience the following summer. I think that’s really great; just for expanding my horizons and testing out different possibilities.”

Christina Moy, junior studying finance and accounting in the Gies College of Business

Photo by Christina Moy

Amanda Brennan

Digital Reporter for Good Morning Illini and UI7 News. Amanda also serves as the President for the University of Illinois chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists and is a photographer with the Illini Union Marketing Department. You can find Amanda in the Marching Illini Color Guard during the football season. Go Illini!