Own Your Tomorrow to Find Your Success Today

Annika, Schwab Intern


By Annika Yappert

Own Your Tomorrow to Find Your Success Today

While some of us may walk through life with full confidence in what we are doing, those of us familiar with the term “imposter syndrome” may feel a bit differently. Imposter syndrome is associated with feelings of inadequacy and a fear that you aren’t good enough- that one day, everyone is going to realize that you are a fraud. While imposter syndrome is something that people at all stages of their career may face, it is especially common in those just starting out. I was no exception to this.

From the moment I began applying for internships this past fall, I constantly battled the fear that I wasn’t good enough. What if I never get an offer? What if I DO get an offer and then they realize what a terrible mistake they’ve made? And when I was standing in the very long, and very intimating line for Charles Schwab at a Colorado State University career fair, I felt even more out of place. I kept wondering how I could possibly work for a financial services firm, considering that I had basically zero financial knowledge. It seemed like everyone around me was a finance major, and while I was taking an introductory finance class that semester, I still felt woefully under-prepared to talk to the Schwab recruiters. But then a good friend of mine and previous Schwab intern introduced me to Amber Spiewak and everything felt like it was falling into place. (By the way, my friend is now working at Schwab full-time!)

I had heard over and over again about Schwab’s fantastic culture and here I was, witnessing it in person. Every Schwab employee that I spoke to that day was wonderful and encouraging, a theme that was consistent throughout my entire recruiting process. Even so, the day before my internship started I felt that same, familiar fear creeping in. What if I am not able to complete the projects they give me? What if I’m not smart enough? Then I began my internship with Schwab and all of those fears melted away. 

Annika and other Schwab employees.

The first two days of the internship consisted of an Intern Welcome  Summit, where we had the chance to connect with all 277 interns participating in the Intern Academy across the country. My fellow talent acquisition intern and I immediately became friends, a bond that has only become stronger during the 9 weeks of the internship. We also had the opportunity to explore what it is really like to be a Schwabbie, and when we were introduced to our projects for the summer, I knew what a fantastic experience it was going to be.

At Charles Schwab, we encourage our clients and our employees to “Own Your Tomorrow", and that's exactly what I have done as a Schwintern. While we are working on some very challenging projects, I have never felt out of my depth. We are surrounded by an amazing support system and everyone is willing to give us the help that we need to succeed. I even discovered my passion during this internship in an area that I didn't know existed!

The Intern Academy is framed as a way for Charles Schwab to help new talent ignite their futures, and this internship has done nothing but that for me. I have learned more in these past 9 weeks than I ever could have imagined and my confidence has grown tremendously. I now feel like I have the skills and the knowledge to succeed in a corporate environment and to enact change as an HR professional. I have also made connections that I hope to maintain long after this internship is over. I know that wherever I end up, it’s because I belong there: I no longer feel like an imposter. My advice to those that are struggling with similar fears is to take the leap, embrace failure, and Own Your Tomorrow. If you don’t think you can do it, try it anyway. You may be surprised by everything that you can achieve.


Annika attends Colorado State University and will be graduating in December 2019 with degrees in Human Resource Management and Industrial/Organizational Psychology.