This post was written by Arianna Brown after her Princeternship.
I had a great three-day experience at Heartland Payment Systems with Adrienne Rubin ’88. In such a short period of time, I learned a great deal about the company and spent a lot of time with the employees. I learned about Heartland as a major payment processor company and gained some clarity on how that works.
As a Princetern, I even gained some rare insight on how companies like that deal with fraud. After the three days, I came out learning much more than I had ever imagined. I learned about the work atmosphere and work conduct as well as tricks to help in understanding how to analyze data. In addition, I learned new ways to think about product launches and brainstorming. Surprisingly enough, however, that was not the most important thing that I learned from my experience. The most important things that I expected to learn were concerning the company system and the intricacies of marketing.
Yet, while those were major things that I did learn, my greatest “take away” from the experience was how to determine whether or not a career is a compatible fit for you. I learned that the happiness or unhappiness that you find in a job is heavily influenced by the people you work with and the overall work environment. That was my greatest take away because it put things into perspective. When making job decisions in the future, I will heavily consider those factors.
With that being said, I have only positive things to say about Heartland and my host Adrienne. Every day I walked in the door, I looked forward to completing the task at hand which involved a lot of data analysis. In addition, I also had an opportunity to brainstorm ideas to more effectively launch and promote new Heartland products. This experience was my first time applying the things that I have learned in the classroom to the real world. Being able to use my critical thinking skills in order to impact the launch of real products was a really neat experience and one that I hope to have the opportunity to do again. Overall, the experience was a priceless one that taught me new things about not only Heartland as a company, but also about myself as someone who could one day be potentially working in this field.