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  • MBA1s Secure Internships and Look Forward to Summer Part I

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    According to many first year MBAs, the biggest fear they have is finding an internship in a difficult economy.  Well, given the amount of Illinois MBA first-years that have accepted a summer internship offer, it doesnt appear fear stood in the way of success!

    Keep reading and hear from a number of first-year students who have internships and are excited to share their experience!  The process may be difficult and at times stressful, but it seems that a little hard work and a positive attitude turned out great results for many students.  Congratulations to you all and have a great summer!

    Nick Reynolds | Concentration: Marketing

    What company do you have an internship with? United Stationers

    Where are you going to be working? Deerfield, IL (20 miles northwest of Chicago)

    Do you know what you will be doing this summer? Yes, I will be working on a project that relates to gauging the potential opportunity that exists for United Stationers to meaningfully enter into the custom office products and advertising specialty market.

    What was the most challenging part of looking for your internship? I would say the most challenging part of the internship search was applying to dozens of different companies.  Each company’s application process could take anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour depending on how much information they wanted online.  After doing just a few of them you feel like giving up and it’s easy to let several weeks go by without doing anymore.  However, I applied to nearly 30 companies and got interviews with 8, so the excessive amount of time and effort I put into it definitely paid off.

    How do you know this is the right opportunity for you? I had narrowed by options down to three companies.  Two of the companies were large, well-known companies, but United Stationers seemed to have the best fit for me.  It is a very people-oriented company and they made me feel like more than just a cog in a big machine.  It felt like the best fit for me based on the type of work I’ll be doing and the culture of the company.

    What is one thing you are really looking forward to learning this summer?  I’m really looking forward to seeing the marketing process in a more traditionally structured company. Before starting my MBA I did marketing for a direct selling company.  It was a great experience, but our marketing strategies were different than what you traditionally see. 

    How do you think this experience, your internship, will benefit your professional development?  This will give me the opportunity to tackle a large task which requires significant research, market testing, and many different financial analyses.  This will help my professionally prepare for many more large tasks to come in the future, whether at this company or others. 

    Do you have any advice for students who are starting their own internship search?  My advice would be to simply stick with it.  Just because you’ve applied to a handful of companies and have been rejected by all doesn’t mean there’s not a company out there that will work for you.  Your chances of getting of landing an internship increase only as you continue to apply to more and more companies. 

    Anything else you'd like to share with us?  I would recommend that all who can attend the national MBA career fairs (NBMBAA, NSHMBA, etc.)  Unlike the Illinois career fair, ALL companies at the national career fairs are after only MBAs, so it’s tailored specifically to you.  Also the number of companies at the national fairs is 5-10 times what you find at a single school career fair.  All of the companies I interviewed with, except one, came from the national career fairs.  It does take time and money to attend these, but if you’re serious about finding an internship, you need to go.

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    Jill Krivacek | Concentration: Finance

    What company do you have an internship with? Northern Trust

    Where are you going to be working? Chicago

    Do you know what you will be doing this summer? Credit underwriting for the Personal Financial Services group

    What was the most challenging part of looking for your internship? The timing, I wanted to lock down my internship before Christmas break which is a little unusual as most recruiting for MBA students going into banking is done in the early Spring semester. My offer came Northern Trust came before a lot of the big banks like Bank of America, Wells, Credit Suisse, Deutsche, and JP Morgan had started recruiting.

    How do you know this is the right opportunity for you? I had four factors that were very important in my search for the "right" bank:  I wanted to be at a smaller bank that truly encouraged employee growth, working at the headquarters, in Chicago,  and at a bank that managed through the financial crisis fairly well. Northern Trust fit all of these factors perfectly.

    What is one thing you are really looking forward to learning this summer? I will be working in the Personal Financial Services group which is really the "bread and butter" of what NTRS does. I am excited about gaining exposure in PFS to wealth management and asset management but also to the institutional side, more specifically corporate lending. My goal is to determine by the end of summer if I want to pursue a career on the personal or institutional side.

    How do you think this experience, your internship, will benefit your professional development? NTRS has a great reputation of promoting within and providing their employees with opportunities to learn a lot of different areas within financial services. Even though it is only 10 weeks, I am expecting high exposure to senior leaders and different lines of the business.

    Do you have any advice for students who are starting their own internship search?  It is never to early to start your internship search. Mine began the day after my last day of work. It is extremely important to identify the function or industry you are interested in. Also, having a list of important factors will better help you find the right opportunity.

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    Jon Chan | Concentration: Corporate Social Responsibility

    What company do you have an internship with? Allstate

    Where are you going to be working? Chicago Area

    Do you know what you will be doing this summer? I’ll be working with the corporate relations and public social responsibility team by contributing to projects that support Allstate Foundation's efforts to reach out to domestic violence abuse victims. Additionally, I'll be working on projects regarding Allstate's sustainability initiatives.

    What was the most challenging part of looking for your internship? Finding an internship that aligned with my career interests.

    How do you know this is the right opportunity for you? I am more particular regarding my career choices than I have ever been before, thus, I wouldn't have settled for any general MBA internship.

    What is one thing you are really looking forward to learning this summer? How corporations can incorporate social good in their practices.

    How do you think this experience, your internship, will benefit your professional development? This experience will help identify my preference for working within a corporate setting or within a social enterprise/non-profit.

    Do you have any advice for students who are starting their own internship search? Don't necessarily settle for the first offer you receive. Go after what you really want to do and stick with it.

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    Starza Kolman | Concentration: Marketing Research

    What company do you have an internship with? United Stationers

    Where are you going to be working? Deerfield, IL in United Stationer’s Marketing Research and Sustainability Department

    Do you know what you will be doing this summer? I do not know exact details yet other than the department I am working in (listed above)

    What was the most challenging part of looking for your internship? For me, the most challenging part of the internship search was narrowing down what exactly I wanted to do and what kind of company I wanted to work for. I knew that I wanted to be a marketing researcher, but I didn’t know how vast that function was until I started looking for internships. I was all over the place until I really sat down, looked at my goals and my values and decided what kind of companies would fit me the best.

    How do you know this is the right opportunity for you? I knew United Stationers was the right company for me the minute I met the Director of Marketing Research and Sustainability at an information session at the University of Illinois. We had the same values and the same passions and just instantly clicked. We had the same background and I knew I could learn so much from her. United Stationers promotes philanthropy and community and those two things were very important to me. Between just clicking with the Director and the entire company promoting the same values that I have, I knew it was the right place for me this summer.

    What is one thing you are really looking forward to learning this summer? I’m interested to learn how companies use social networking sites to promote their company and how they use the information they glean from those sites to better their business.

    How do you think this experience, your internship, will benefit your professional development? I come from a non-profit background so just experiencing marketing in a corporate context would be extremely beneficial for me professionally.

    Do you have any advice for students who are starting their own internship search? I recommend starting early, even before you start your MBA. The more you research your industry and the companies you may or may not be interested in, the more prepared you will be when companies begin recruiting.

    Anything else you'd like to share with us? I learned so much about myself when going through the internship interview process. As a result, I was really able to define my values and what I’m truly looking for in a company.

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    Andy Lucido | Concentration: Operations Management & Global Business

    What company do you have an internship with?  U.S. Department of State

    Where are you going to be working?  Washington D.C.

    Do you know what you will be doing this summer?  I will be assigned to a Regulations Team in the Bureau of Administration in the Office of Logistics Management.

    How do you know this is the right opportunity for you?  I am looking to move out to Washington D.C. following my MBA, so it made the most logistical sense to intern there this summer.  Additionally, I am on the fence about whether I want to work for the government or get into consulting.  Interning at the State Department exposes me to both the government and a multitude of public sector consultancies (like Booz Allen, Deloitte, and Accenture) that perform a variety of projects for the government.  

    What is one thing you are really looking forward to learning this summer?  I am looking forward to learning more about the different offices within State Department, MBA professional opportunities, and how the U.S. approaches world issues diplomatically.

    How do you think this experience, your internship, will benefit your professional development?  I will be able to network face to face with many of our nation’s top leaders.

    Do you have any advice for students who are starting their own internship search?  Primarily focus your search on whatever high touch industry you want to enter (i.e. investment banking, consulting, etc.) and network, network, network.  However, take the time to learn a little more about government opportunities and place these opportunities as a tertiary target.  Government is a low touch industry, but it is satisfying work that makes a difference.  Additionally, you make good pay, receive great benefits, and work reasonable hours.

     

    Check back for more internship interviews – they are a ton more students that want to share!