After nine months of B-school and a quick trip to China, my summer officially started as I moved back to my old apartment in Lakeview (north-side of Chicago) at the end of May. Within a week, still jetlagged, I started my LDP internship at AT&T. I can still remember how nervous and anxious I was when I started my first day in my old job straight out of college, but this time was much different. I definitely noticed that I was not nearly as nervous and was approximately 82.3% more confident as I walked into a strange office for the first time once again. I think it was the abundance of stressful situations we were exposed to during the school year that really helped me to approach this particular one with relative calm.
It has now been a little more than three weeks since I’ve started my internship, and I’m glad to say I still enjoy it. One of my colleagues once so eloquently put it, “an internship is kind of like IBC but you’re paid to do it”… well, let’s just say I do not completely agree to that statement. Unlike IBC or any other student consulting program, my internship experience so far had been a lot more self-driven. We were assigned a few goals for the summer, but most of these goals are all pretty loosely defined. Maybe I got lucky and got assigned to a laid back team, but I really like the freedom they give me to dictate a project’s direction based on my own judgment (if I don’t fail miserably). Also, unlike IBC, guidance and direction during this internship have been much more sporadic and candid. I believe with some tweaking, IBC can become quite a good simulation for real-life work experience and become a better tool to prepare Illinois students for the work force. But even as it is, IBC is still a very valuable tool where students can get experience in team work, communication, and time management as part-time business consultants. Needless to say, it is highly recommended for anyone in the MBA program to participate in one of these consulting programs for at least one semester to experience something that’s truly unique.
Another thing I’ve really enjoyed over this summer is some good old fashioned happy hour networking. Maybe it’s because everyone knows summer is too short (especially in Chicago), so no one ever turns down the chance to go to a social event in the city. The 8-to-5 routine really makes people appreciate the little break and refreshments. What’s special about this summer is that in addition to seeing old friends, I’ve been lucky to be able to hang out with some of our fine fellow MBA students who are also stationed in Chicago for the summer. I’ve lived around the Chicago area for many years, but I can honestly say that this summer might just be the most fun of them all. There are still many more weeks left before we have to go back to school. Summer has really just started… I’m hoping I will continue to get the chance to see as many of you as possible and make new friends to make this truly a summer to remember.
Oh, and GO HAWKS!!!
Photo: good old fashioned happy hour
Blogger: David Wang is an Illinois MBA student, MBAA VP of Social Planning, and AT&T intern