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Shivam Raja headshot

Shivam Raja, WH ’26, Alma, AR

For many students, the summer after freshman year is daunting. We are told by our peers and upperclassmen that we should “enjoy” our summer and not worry about getting a summer internship or job. Just relax, hangout with friends, and catch up on the countless hours of sleep we missed during the school year. But I, like many students here at Penn, can’t sit around all summer without doing anything. We NEED to do something with our time because we know it’s not going to slow down for anybody!

I was not actively looking for internships or jobs to apply to, but when my club, the UPenn Student Federal Credit Union, asked if anybody was interested in a summer position my interest peaked. I started asking the previous summer managers what their experience was and they had a lot to say about it! I was getting very involved with the club throughout the year and so I applied, but there was also one thing in the back of my mind. I didn’t know how to fund my summer expenses! I was, and still am, new to renting, cooking, budgeting, and living independently, and the internship wouldn’t be able to cover all of my expenses. Luckily, I was fortunate enough to receive grant funding from the Career Services, shifting my entire perspective and enthusiasm for the summer position.

I was the “Executive Summer Manager” for 14 weeks of the summer. I worked alongside three other freshmen, and together we managed over hundreds of personal accounts with a total of over 8 million dollars in assets. We are located on the corner of 34th and Walnut on the 4th floor, stop by and see if we can help you with anything! My team worked together to respond to our member’s issues, deposit and withdraw funds, create accounts, give out loans, and more. We were even able to help create the manuals for future employees to reference when they experience difficulties!

group dinner shot with UPenn Student Federal Credit Union staff

I am very grateful to say, however, that my summer wasn’t defined by my job. The hours were very flexible, my team worked with one-another on scheduling conflicts, our supervisors were in contact any time we needed them, and overall the work environment was stress free. I had ample time and opportunities to better myself physically, mentally, and spiritually. I practiced my cooking skills, went to the gym, bought a bike, and played the most complex and enjoyable board game of my life!! This summer I felt what it was like to be an adult and fend for myself in all aspects of the world, and I LOVED it. I am so grateful that I was able to have all of these experiences with such incredible people, and I didn’t even have to leave campus! Thank you so much Career Services because I wouldn’t have been able to create such wonderful memories without your support!.

This is part of a series of posts by recipients of the 2023 Career Services Summer Funding Grant. We’ve asked funding recipients to reflect on their summer experiences and talk about the industries in which they spent their summer. You can read the entire series here

By Career Services
Career Services