Some people spend summertime by the beach, but others prefer to spend that time building their résumés. Just ask Darius Ferguson ’21, whose summer consisted of improving the quality of intra-governmental financial transactions (not a big deal).
Ferguson was one of two students from JWU Charlotte to be offered an internship through INROADS, a nonprofit organization dedicated to developing and placing talented minority youth in business and industry. He first discovered the organization when he reached out to one of his professors for help finding a summer internship. Associate Professor Benjamin Robinson — who is also the Charlotte Business department chair — introduced Ferguson to INROADS and encouraged him to pursue an internship through them.
“He has a thirst for knowledge, very good attention to detail and ambition,” Robinson said of Ferguson. “These characteristics will serve him well.”
Through INROADS, Ferguson landed an internship in the Treasury department for Intra-Governmental Transactions at The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
“My internship was focused on a new processing platform called Government Invoicing (G-Invoicing for short), which is used for intra-governmental transactions,” he explained. “It’s a long term, sustainable solution to improve the quality of transactions between federal program agencies.”
A typical day for Ferguson was working beside the Treasury Division’s agency implementation team to become more familiar with the database used for G-Invoicing. This was in preparation for a presentation he would give about the platform at the end of his internship.
“The experience of presenting an overview on Government Invoicing was both fun and challenging,” he shared. “One of the major lessons that I learned was to be aware of your audience when presenting. I presented to my coworkers and managers and they challenged me to present as if I were in their shoes presenting to federal program agencies.”
But, despite the challenge, Ferguson felt prepared thanks to some of the projects he had completed in his classes at JWU as a Business Administration major.
“Working on projects in Marketing, Macroeconomic and Legal Environment of Business courses helped me gain experience working in teams to solve a problem,” he said. “Other skills I’ve learned at JWU, such as networking, public speaking and time management were transferrable and really helped me succeed in a professional environment.”
He shared that he could definitely see himself working in a career like this in the future, thanks to the positive experience he had with the internship — an experience that thoroughly exceeded his expectations.
“Overall, I had an amazing experience in St. Louis as an intern. I got to explore a new state and meet great people,” Ferguson said. “I’m beyond grateful for this opportunity and will use all the knowledge I’ve acquired for the betterment of myself as well as others. I’m taking it all in and using it as motivation to make my junior and senior year count.”