Get Interactive: Jump Starting my Career 

SRA Scholar Emma Ottum is a rising college senior at UC Riverside, pursuing a major in Industrial Organizational Psychology with a Minor in Human Resources. She is passionate about Industrial Organizational Psychology and how in intersects with business and professional development. Emma recently returned from India, where she received a highly competitive fellowship to teach for three months. 

Emma is now a Learning and Development Intern with CBS Interactive. See what she’s learned at her internship so far, the important leadership skills she’s gained, and her hopes for the future! 

Hi, I’m Emma Ottum! I am currently a rising senior at UC Riverside, majoring in Industrial Organizational Psychology with a Minor in Human Resources. I am passionate about Industrial Organizational Psychology and business, because I love learning about how I can grow my skills with people, while utilizing them in a Business setting. I have been involved in many exciting projects in the past, and recently just returned from India, where I won a fellowship to teach for three months. During my time, I learned how to use my 2+ years of project management skills to teach students.

My current internship for the summer is with CBS Interactive as their Learning and Development Intern. My job duties vary on a daily basis, providing me with the opportunity to constantly learn new content.

The most surprising part of my experience so far is how fast it is flying by. This internship is the most challenging one that I have experienced in my career path, but I am nevertheless ready to do my best, learn everything I can, and pursue my career and professional development opportunities. 

The career path I would like to pursue after graduating is to go into a job where I can continue to discover my passion for project management and Learning and Development. The internship I currently have with CBS Interactive aligns perfectly with my career goals because it feeds into my dream of helping people develop in their roles, while also managing events where I can learn how to intertwine them both. 

My first internship was with 360+, where I was their social media producer and student advisor for 15+ students. This helped me develop my interest for management. I then went on to intern with San Jose Downtown Association as their marketing and promotions intern where I developed promotional marketing plans and co-spearheaded four public activation related events with over 3,000 people. I learned how to seamlessly design an event from start to finish. 

As my passion for project management grew, I decided to intern with the City of Riverside as their Economic intern. I created financial budgets for city-wide events, analyzed $2,000 to $10,000 grants, and oversaw 50+ food and artisan vendor applications. I discovered that I loved teaching, applied and won a fellowship to be a music teacher in India for three months, and went to follow my goals. In the school, I taught over 400 children group music classes and 20+ children private music classes, while leading women’s leadership and professional development groups. 

The minute I started college, SRA was at my side sending me internships that I would have never given thought to applying for. When my SRA Advisor, Allison, sent me the application for my first internship with the San Jose Downtown Association in the summer of 2016, I had low confidence in myself that I would be accepted. Not only did she encourage me to apply, but she also provided me with complete career support and the advice that I needed to push myself to take that first career step. I was accepted, and started my first internship that would jumpstart my career. 

After that summer, I had no idea what doors would open for me next. By the second year of college, I had never been more excited to receive an email than the ones sent by my SRA Advisor with the headings “you have to apply!” and “this is perfect for you.” I knew that when I would open these emails, there would also be amazing opportunities waiting for me. Throughout my years of college, SRA continued to push me harder and into more competitive internships at reputable companies. 

One of the best parts about being in SRA is how they seemed to know me better than I know myself. My Advisor never failed to send me the perfect internship opportunities. I realized that SRA could see the bigger picture of my career development at times where I couldn’t. At the end of the internship, I was incredibly grateful for SRA for pushing me to apply myself and loved every moment of developing my career. SRA has also given me the opportunity to attend career development workshops, career fairs, networking events, and much more. 

My advice for other students looking for internships is to never be afraid to apply. It may seem terrifying at first, but the experience is worth it in the end and will help your career develop in ways you never imagined. My entire life before SRA was spent being scared of the unknown. I learned to apply myself and discover what I am truly capable of in my career path. You don’t want to have those “what if” moments and SRA is here to help make sure those never happen. 

I recently met Jim Lanzone, the CEO of CBS Interactive and CDO of CBS, in the break room and it was one of the highlights of my internship!