We are excited to introduce you to Tyler Werland! A top notch Business Management student that has excelled in many capacities here at UTSA and beyond! We first crossed paths with Tyler during his Career Planning Class in fall 2017 and invited him back to participate in Internship Week as an Intern Mentor in spring 2018. Tyler has an outstanding story of career exploration and internship success and we are honored to spotlight him this month!
As a San Antonio native, Tyler has taken advantage of many local opportunities and completed 3 internships with top companies such as HEB, the Alamo, and Target. He is currently an Intern with the Honors College at UTSA and continues to get involved in on-campus events and activities. Tyler is the founder and organizer for St. Baldrick’s Day at UTSA and has served as chapter President of Alpha Chi Honor Society, Alpha Kappa Psi (Co-Ed) Business Fraternity, and Alpha Lambda Delta First-Year Honor Society.
To learn more about Tyler, we set up a Q&A interview. Join us in exploring Tyler’s successes, challenges, and advice for future Interns!
How did you obtain your internship(s)?
Preparation and networking! My business fraternity, Alpha Kappa Psi prepared me greatly in my internship search and interview process. When joining Alpha Kappa Psi, I went through an intensive professional development program which enhanced my professionalism and truly prepared me for the world of business. Networking has also played a huge role in obtaining internships too from sharing opportunities to helping to land a position.
What did you do during your internship(s) and what were your responsibilities/duties?
Since I’ve interned in retail management, event planning, and higher education, I’ve had a diverse set of experiences which entailed a wide range of responsibilities/duties. At H-E-B and Target, I completed a management internship working directly in the stores. With H-E-B, I worked in central checkout where I managed the front end of the store. In this role, I led and coached on average of 45-50 employees per day, while constantly delivering quality customer service to our guests. With Target, I got a deeper understanding of how retail operations work as I got exposure to all of the departments in the store. Additionally, I analyzed daily reports that assessed stores performance and rotated with other managers as the primary leader on duty. At the Alamo, I worked closely with the Event Coordinator and Marketing Director on various projects and events that occurred during my internship. I also assisted with scheduling the use of grounds for events, and tours of Alamo rental facilities. Currently, I intern with the Honors College at UTSA where my primary responsibility is to lecture and work with the students in my class. Last summer, I worked with the Dean of the Honors College, Dr. Sean Kelly, on developing curriculum for a course called Honors Community Service. Our product was a project-based, experiential learning curriculum, with the goal of creating transferable skills through community service and event planning. I lecture every Friday, and the students in my class are currently working on projects geared toward the Second Annual St. Baldrick’s Day at UTSA which will be April 27th.
What was the exciting aspect of your internship(s)?
Learning! In each position, I loved learning new things each day! Although at times my brain felt cluttered with an abundance of information, I enjoyed the feeling as I knew I was learning something.
What was the most challenging aspect of your internship(s)?
Uncertainty and the age gap. It was always intimidating starting a new position because I did not know what to expect and was surrounded by experienced individuals. By asking questions and putting myself out there is how I overcame these nerves. Another challenge which I faced, more so while in management roles, was the age gap. Being young and new to my roles, early in my internships I felt it was a lot harder to communicate with old generations. I overcame these struggles through persistent communication, establishing mutual respect, and encouragement from mentors.
What recommendations do you have for other students about doing an internship?
Take advantage of your resources and network, network, network! There are so many resources to take advantage of when in pursuit of an internship. Join a student organization, utilize the Career Center, or simply watch videos on YouTube and read articles on related topics. Most importantly, learn how to network! It is easy to be intimated by reaching out to people or just having a conversation, but at the end of the day, people are people. Do not be afraid to reach out to those who are in positions you one day see yourself in, you can learn a lot from them, and there is no telling what they can to do to help you. What is the worse they can say, no? LinkedIn is an excellent tool for networking, and I do not think people utilize it enough.
What did you enjoy the most about these experiences?
The people, and the growth! The people that I have met in each internship have made each experience so special to me. Without the great people I was constantly surrounded by, I would’ve dreaded going in to work and would not have learned as much as I have. To add on, all of these individuals played a significant role in my personal and professional growth. It is always bittersweet to look to back to where I started and see how much I grew in each position.
How has your internship(s) prepared you for a career?
These experiences have allowed me to explore my leadership capabilities while establishing my foundation of business knowledge. Most importantly, they have shown me what I want in a career and what I do not want in a career. Although I had a positive experience in each role, I realized that I did not want to pursue a career in any of those fields, but without these experiences, I wouldn’t have been able to recognize what I want in a career. Through my internships, I found my passion for leadership and organizations and realized how much I value autonomy and an environment that I am continually learning in. I am now pursuing an academic career in business where I would like to research topics under organizational behavior.
What is your dream job?
Tough question, but I think it would be cool to one day come back to UTSA as a tenure-track professor in the management department in the College of Business. I would also like to be a motivational speaker and write a book. I hope to one-day conduct research that will contribute to advances in organizational theories and practices while positively influencing the next generation of business leaders.
Quote that defines you:
“Good, better, best. Never let it rest. ‘Til your good is better, and your better is best.”
To connect with Tyler, visit him on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/tylerwerland/