Arnon Dror | Internships and Today’s Most Successful CEOs
For Arnon Dror, former VP of Finance and Senior Operations Executive who also served as VP of Finance for US Channel Group’s Xerox Technology Business, the best thing that college students can do for their future careers is to take an internship at a company or institution that is related to the field they want to pursue. But even if the company or the internship job isn’t directly related to your future career, you should still grab any internship opportunity you get, says Arnon Dror.
An internship can be a launchpad for your future career. It can open doors of opportunities for you once you graduate and it can lead you to your true calling. What you gain from an internship is a firsthand experience of what it’s like being in the “real world,” says Arnon Dror; and most employers nowadays pay attention to job experiences more than they do your GPA or academic performance.
Here, Arnon Dror reviews how some of today’s business gurus, experts in their own fields, found their passions through internships and how these have helped them become the successful CEOs and business magnates that they are today. Image Source: WorldInternships
Elon Musk, the man behind SpaceX, Tesla, and Neuralink whose net worth is now estimated at $24.6 billion, took various internships before he became the tech mogul that he is today. Of particular note was his internship at the Bank of Nova Scotia. While he was still a student at Queen’s University in Canada, where he was studying physics, Elon Musk and his brother Kimbal called people from different companies and businesses for the sole purpose of meeting them. One of these people was the Bank of Nova Scotia’s Peter Nicholson who was a top executive at the bank at the time. Nicholson was so impressed by the Elon’s boldness that he gave him a summer internship.
Arnon Dror shares that Elon received $14/hour and he was given the opportunity to “pitch new ideas to his boss.” One such idea focused on a bond trade that he believed held great potential but everyone else was ignoring it; and while his boss approved the pitch, the bank’s CEO rejected it.
This fueled Musk’s passion for doing things that others aren’t doing; paying attention to “gold mines” waiting to be tapped. What Musk discovered was banks were doing what everyone else was doing and along the way, great opportunities are missed.
Bill Gates’ internship story is slightly different in that he was thrown into the world of politics. Bill Gates’ father was a lawyer and for a time, he considered following in his father’s footsteps. Things took a different turn when interned at the state capitol as a congressional page boy. He was 16 years old at the time, shares Arnon Dror; and what he mostly did was to deliver legislative documents to the respective offices of members of the Congress. He had two takeaways from his internship: first, it made him realize that he didn’t want a career in politics and secondly, as he learned about “contracts and things,” he realized he wanted to go into business. And the rest, as they say, is history.
Bill Gates’ net worth is estimated at $94 billion, coming in second after Amazon’s Jeff Bezos. But for many years, he held the distinction of being the richest man in the world, says Arnon Dror.