A few weeks ago we featured a set of first-year MBA students who have secured an internship for the summer. They shared their thoughts on the internship search experience, details about their summer assignments and their advice for other students looking for a new position.
This week, we have another 4 Illinois MBA students talking about their internships. An internship provides invaluable experience and the Illinois MBA program is happy to see students taking on a diverse set of challenges. As always, we extend our congratulations to them and wish them luck as they take on new projects.
Emilia Poppe | Concentration: Social Entrepreneurship
What company do you have an internship with? Education Pioneers
Where are you going to be working? Chicago
Do you know what you will be doing this summer? My client and project are TBD.
What was the most challenging part of looking for your internship? The multiple rounds of application.
How do you know this is the right opportunity for you? The goals and values of the organization are a perfect fit for my experience, interest, and personality.
What is one thing you are really looking forward to learning this summer? I'm most looking forward to networking with other people in my area of focus.
How do you think this experience, your internship, will benefit your professional development? The contacts I will make as well as the training I will receive will be very beneficial, as will the hands-on work experience that I will gain.
Do you have any advice for students who are starting their own internship search? Don't wait to start looking; once you start, check in regularly (every week) for more opportunities posted; don't procrastinate once you find something you are interested in/suited for. Get those applications in. Also, attend info sessions, even for companies that you don't initially think you might be right for -- there might be a great fit for you within their organization. Dress and behave professionally at info sessions, panel discussions, and campus talks.
Anything else you'd like to share with us? Be sure to secure the $200 allowance for job-search activities at the start of the fall semester (it that opportunity will be allotted again next year).
Diana Vallejo | Concentration: Marketing & Strategy
What company do you have an internship with? Archer Daniels Midland (ADM)
Where are you going to be working? Decatur, IL
Do you know what you will be doing this summer? Member of the Leadership Development Program
What was the most challenging part of looking for your internship? The most challenging part of looking for an internship is actually finding time to apply for jobs and follow-up with recruiters. Another challenging aspect is being able to narrow down the list of potential employers so that you can focus your efforts and target the right ones.
How do you know this is the right opportunity for you? By talking to other MBA1's, MBA2's, career service advisor and ADM recruiters I know this is a great opportunity. Having been a member of a leadership program at my previous employer (GE), I know this is one of the best ways of starting my career with a new company and be able to learn quickly. ADM is a company that interested me for their growth, interesting products and career opportunities.
What is one thing you are really looking forward to learning this summer? I am looking forward to learning more about business development and strategic planning, which is one of the areas of focus of the internship. I am also looking forward to learn more about ADM as a whole.
How do you think this experience, your internship, will benefit your professional development? As part of the program I will get training and seminars in different aspects of professional development. I will be learning about a whole new industry and a new business function. As a member of the leadership program I will have a lot of interaction with senior executives which will aid my career development. This is a great opportunity for me to use all the tools that I have learned this past year.
Do you have advice for students who are starting their own internship search? Biggest advice for students is be confident, assertive and do not get discouraged. Continue to look for opportunities, since you never know when you will receive the right phone call or get the offer in your e-mail inbox. Also, I know we continue to hear that networking is important, and from my experience it is really crucial. Networking has been the key in finding my jobs, both before MBA and now for my internship. Another piece of advice is, know your skills and articulate those to recruiters to explain how you differentiate yourself from others and why you are the right candidate for the job.
Natalie Keable | Concentration: Strategic Management & Marketing
What company do you have an internship with? Jones Lang LaSalle
Where are you going to be working? Projects and Development Services Dept, Chicago Office
Do you know what you will be doing this summer? I will be working with Senior Project Managers on interior corporate office build-outs and LEED Green Building Design consulting.
What was the most challenging part of looking for your internship? The industry I was interested in was not one that BCS had a lot of information about, so I did a lot of my own networking.
How do you know this is the right opportunity for you? I actually had the opportunity to work for this company over winter break as a "mini-internship" which was instrumental in my understanding of the dynamics and processes of the company.
What is one thing you are really looking forward to learning this summer? This semester I became certified as a LEED Green Associate, so I am looking forward to using my expertise in assisting JLL clients in learning about and implementing green building design practices.
How do you think this experience, your internship, will benefit your professional development? I believe this internship successfully integrates my background (architecture) with the direction I would like my career to go (consulting).
Do you have any advice for students who are starting their own internship search? Everyone in the MBA program stresses the importance of networking, and they aren't wrong. In my personal experience, every interview I got was the result of taking advantage of my own personal network connections, not the ones offered through BCS. Although BCS is a great place to start, building your network as soon as possible is the difference between getting interviews or not.
Abby Sullivan | Concentration: Financial Strategy
What company do you have an internship with? Protiviti - Risk & Business Consulting
Where are you going to be working? Chicago, IL - Right in the Loop but I will likely be traveling within the US.
Do you know what you will be doing this summer? My official title for the internship is Process Intern, which gives me great flexibility Protiviti focuses its practice on both internal audit services as well as risk and business consulting so I am looking forward to expanding on my audit experience at PwC by moving more into the risk and business consulting side of the firm. As I don't have a large amount of experience in this area, I am looking forward to experiencing the job opportunities.
What was the most challenging part of looking for your internship? The most challenging part of my internship search was focusing on a certain function and industry. Because I used to work as an external consultant at a very large firm, I wanted to experience life in a smaller firm in order to decide if I wanted to stay in the consulting role or move into industry. In addition, at the beginning of the year, it was difficult to choose between
How do you know this is the right opportunity for you? I knew this was the right opportunity for me because it fit what I was looking for in a company. I wanted to work at a smaller consulting firm, be located in Chicago and have potential for career growth. I am also excited because Protivit is relatively new in the market, having only started operations after the fall of Andersen in the early 2000s. I think the opportunity to work at a new and growing firm will be a challenge that will give me great experience for the future.
What is one thing you are really looking forward to learning this summer? I am excited to learn more about Protiviti's model of doing business to see if it will be a good long term fit for me. I enjoy serving clients and solving problems so I am looking forward to gaining experience in these functions.
How do you think this experience, your internship, will benefit your professional development? I think this internship will help my professional development by giving me an opportunity to use some of my skills learned in the classroom in a real life setting. Also, it will give me more experience from which to make my long term career decisions on.
Do you have any advice for students who are starting their own internship search? My most important piece of advice is for students to not be discouraged by "qualifications" stated on applications and job postings. I have found that many firms need to set those to show what they are looking for, but they are not always all-encompassing. I found my internship by finding a firm that I liked and developing relationships within that firm. By showing them my qualifications and what I was looking for in an experience, I was able to find a position that fit my needs.