OREANDA-NEWS. August 29, 2016.  Internships are about more than just work. Theyre also an opportunity to learn about a companys culture and its people and to have fun along the way. In our latest Summer Analyst Program content series installment, we asked some of our interns to tell us about the internship perks that surprised them.

Fun events and friendships
The biggest unexpected perk of my internship has been the friendships that I have been able to make with other interns. With there being over 200 interns in the U.S., I figured friendships would consist of seeing some familiar faces every now and then at mandatory events, but that hasnt been the case.  During orientation and networking events, I have established some friendships that reach outside the office.  Its nice to sit down with some friends after work and talk about things that dont revolve around whats going on in the office. Having a level of disconnect from work when you leave the office is important to me, and it has been something I have really enjoyed in the company of new friends. Chris S., Investment Management, Brooklyn

The internship is work, but it was also a lot of fun, which I can honestly say I did not expect. The Summer Analyst Program holds a bunch of events for all of the interns, including online learning sessions, formal and informal networking events, and even a small-group scavenger hunt around the city (winners receive cool prizes). You really do meet a lot of amazing people full-time employees and interns, alike.  A group of us interns go to BNY Mellons Innovation Center for lunch together every day.  There, we eat our lunches and then play bocce ball, ping pong, or mini golf. As you can see, work can be fun sometimes, too! Juliana G., Treasury Services, Pittsburgh

The free networking and development events provided by HR and the Employee Resource Groups. They were invaluable as a way to connect with new and interesting people and relax from a working day. I didnt expect such interesting events or the variety of them.  Conor H., Global Client Management, London

Career advice and connections
The amount of career advice I got was very unexpected. I came into the internship expecting to networking and learn processes, but I never expected to receive the career advice I did. I have intentions of getting my CPA and within the first few weeks my manager heard this and set up time for me to talk with a CPA in internal audit. Beyond that, talking to employees who have gone through the internship process and career changes or even have been lifetime BNY Mellon employees really gave me insight on the future and helped me create a clearer career path for myself. Max T., Audit, New York

How open BNY Mellons culture is remarkable. I remember asking someone in HR if I could speak to someone about a position I was interested in and he connected me to an executive that reports directly to the CFO. That level of openness really helped me get a better understand of the firm and where I fit into its future. Mohammad A., Risk and Compliance, New York

Volunteer opportunities
You get to take a day out of the office to help people as part of the BNY Mellons Community Partnership Program, which is something I didnt expect, but Im very happy with. Valerie O., Finance, Manchester

Diverse perspectives
Everyone that works at BNY Mellon doesnt come from an economics or accounting background; I find this interesting because as an engineering major not interning with the technology group, I have met numerous employees who are now leading a career that is not related to their educational background. I have also seen these same employees add just as much value and expertise to the financial banking industry as those who come from finance backgrounds. This diversity shows me how strategic BNY Mellon is in making sure all employees are not only qualified, but also have a different perspective and way of thinking that is a key factor in the evolution of this company. Sanura D., Asset Servicing, New York

Real relationships
Going into the internship, I didnt expect to network with so many people. In the past, I felt that networking was a forced concept. There was something seemingly disingenuous about it. But when I got to BNY Mellon and began working next to so many new people, I found that networking didnt have to be about collecting business cards and spitting out a memorized elevator speech. Instead it became about building real relationships, getting to know the people around you, caring about them and their work, and being willing to ask for and offer help. Alexandra B., Technology, Pittsburgh

My team is absolutely wonderful and has made me feel so welcome. Not only are they willing to share their time and wisdom, but they have even taken me out to lunch many times! Anushree G., Investment Management, Boston