As graduation nears, College of Business student Diego Trujillo already has a job waiting, while human resources service provider AON is guaranteed a new employee familiar with the company’s operations.
Trujillo was one of two FIU students who participated in a 10-week internship at AON’s Cloud Deployment Solutions practice, an on‑demand financial management and human capital management program. AON has recruited FIU students for eight years; the 2016 internships were a pilot program for AON CDS. The second COB intern was Kevin Betancourt.
“Our focus is to find critical thinkers who are willing to work hard and go the extra mile,” said Gabriel Aviles, Workday senior manager and benefits domain lead at AON. “It was a real-life experience based on what we do.”
The assignment required students to analyze and incorporate the Workday software, which manages human resources, payroll and financial services for corporations, into the operations of a company that had been purchased by another. The case study was applied to large-scale businesses.
Hands on and in the trenches
Trujillo maintains that the work was challenging and intense, especially for someone’s first internship ever. The students had two weeks to create different templates for loading data into Workday.
“We had to integrate the employees from the acquired company into the buyer, build operation modules and configure the system,” he added. “It was a lot of information in very little time. Colleague taught us, and we used video chats.”
The internship’s goal, noted Aviles, is to give interns enough know how in order to develop a tool that will assist Workday clients in loading data into the system when acquiring other companies. Each intern worked on a specific function of the project team, and their responsibilities shifted so they could learn about all aspects of the business.
“They worked like a consulting group to gather the required information and configure the system,” said Aviles (HCMBA ’11). Throughout the internship, students participated in mock meetings at their clients’ offices and had to respond to their questions. They also worked closely with AON executives, new hires and the company’s co-founders.
Although he’s majoring in accounting, Trujillo said he’s not taking the CPA route that will lead him to tax returns or financial analysis.
“At AON, I was able to work on a real-life project for a national client,” said Trujillo, who is on the board of the Association of Latino Professionals For America (ALPFA). “This was the closest I got to building something where I could see a result.”
That made his decision on accepting AON’s job offer simple: yes. Trujillo graduates in May and his first day at AON is in July.
Aviles recalled that the FIU interns stood out because of the qualities they brought to the company, including leadership, public speaking, business acumen and the ability to carry a room.
“You typically don’t find these qualities with people trying to gain their first experiences outside the classroom,” Aviles said. “The internship is an experience that will help them grow.”