Exit Interview: Final Thoughts from Summer’18 Interns

As we approach the end of summer, ESI must say goodbye to yet another group of talented interns. But, before they return to the classroom or pursue their next opportunity, we’ve asked them to take part in an exit interview. This gives them an opportunity to give their final thoughts on their experience at ESI and to reflect on a successful summer. Below is their commentary.

What is a key takeaway from your experience?

Emma – Being a part of the marketing team as a PR major, I’ve had the opportunity to learn about a somewhat unfamiliar field which has helped me realize that I would be interested in pursuing some form of marketing in the future. Also, as my first experience in an office setting, ESI has allowed me to apply my education to the real world and given me a realistic understanding of what working in a professional environment is like.

Victor – ESI is involved in a lot. There is never a moment when I’m not working on some kind of project. However, as busy as it got, it’s all great experience working in different fields, using different tools, and doing creative research to make sure assignments get done on time.

Ellen – My experience at ESI has given me insight into the workings of a consulting firm. It has allowed me to see the teamwork and time management that is necessary for working in this fast paced and competitive field. Getting to participate on team projects and join team meetings has been an important component of my experience.

What is your favorite project you worked on? What did you do specifically?

Amanda – Although grant work can be tedious, I enjoyed working on a few BUILD grant applications. I saw these projects from start to finish and had the chance to practice researching and writing in a clear and concise way. Additionally, one of the applications focused on work located near my house. I am excited to be part of a project that will have a great impact on my community.

Rachel – My favorite projects included economic impact studies for universities. I researched information on notable alumni, wrote sections of the report, built tables and charts, worked on constructing the executive summary, and played an integral role in the editing process.

How would you describe ESI’s office culture? What do you like most about it?

Emma – ESI’s office culture is inclusive, collaborative and an overall great place to work. You can tell that the people who work here are not only coworkers, but genuine friends. My favorite part about the office culture is that everyone is willing to help and answer your questions.

Wen – Friendly, energetic and exciting. I like the opportunities ESI offers us in getting involved in all kinds of projects, becoming familiar with a variety of differing industries.

Karlin – The environment is collaborative and team-oriented. People are generally very busy in the office and the atmosphere can be kind of serious. But, everyone is friendly and always willing to help when you have questions. I like that the office organizes a monthly “Staff Meet and Eat”, “Happy Hour”, and especially the weekly Yoga Thursday!

What advice would you give to next year’s interns?

Mike – Use each other as a resource – it has been extremely helpful to ask the other interns questions and bounce ideas off each other. Also, take a few minutes to get out of the office and walk around! Getting out and taking a walk through Rittenhouse Square during the day helps productivity in the afternoon.

Victor –Be confident. There’s going to be easy assignments and there’s going to be stuff you don’t know how to do yet. Be confident with what you know, ask questions, and if you hit a wall, don’t be scared to mess up, it happens. Everyone’s here to help you be as successful as you can.

Amanda – I really enjoyed the diversity of the projects I worked on this summer. I think it is important to volunteer to help with projects that are outside of your comfort zone. There are so many opportunities at ESI to learn things that cannot be learned in school.


ESI would like to thank Emma Hart (Drexel University ’19), Michael Carr (Haverford College, ’19) Victor Lebron (Rowan University ’19), Wen Gao (Drexel University, ’19), Karlin Ariffin (Drexel University ’18), Amanda Kichline (Cornell University ’20), Rachel Wallace (Drexel University ’19), Samantha Gable (Wesleyan University ’21) , and Ellen Chinn (The College of William and Mary ’19)  for their hard work, dedication and positive attitudes. We look forward to seeing each of them develop into bright young business leaders. Best of luck in all the challenges that lie ahead and remember to stay in touch!



Lindsay Durkalec is a Marketing Assistant at ESI where she supports the Business Development team. In addition to assisting with proposals, Ms. Durkalec is responsible for enhancing ESI’s brand and work through traditional and social media, content development for the web, and managing the ESI blog, Present Value.


Emma Hart is a Drexel Co-Op student working as a Marketing Assistant at ESI. Ms. Hart is a Communications major with a concentration in Public Relations and will return to Drexel in the fall for her senior year.

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