Olin career advisor Lisa Hebert shares ways to fill gaps in experience and build credibility when seeking to change industries or start a new career path.

“Tell me about yourself and your career goals in 60 seconds or less.” That’s the challenge facing students at the annual Meet the Firms events when recruiters come to campus to look for new talent. Representatives from 50 companies were here last week and 900 students lined up to get a chance to pitch themselves. The same scenario will repeat Sept. 20 for the second round of Meet the Firms with 50 different companies lining the three levels of the Atrium.

Here’s what we saw trending at Meet the Firms:

  1. Lots of swag! Sunglasses are a popular perk.
  2. Black is the new black. EVERYONE was wearing a black suit.
  3. Firm banners provide some insight into the company’s culture.
  4. Advice: wear comfortable shoes for standing in long lines at popular firm tables.
  5. More advice: smile and offer a confident, firm handshake!

Photo, above: Stephanie Chen and fellow interns at a baseball game!

This summer, I interned at Hill’s Pet Nutrition with the Global Marketing and Innovation team, and I had a wonderful experience! Hill’s Pet Nutrition is a global division of Colgate-Palmolive, and the mission of the company is to help enrich and strengthen the special relationships between people and their pets. As a pet-lover and a dog parent, I was extremely passionate about the business!

Stephanie and her dog, Riley.

Stephanie and her dog, Riley.

The program was very well-organized and has extremely high visibility within the organization. The 10-week internship started with a warm welcome by the entire marketing team, including the marketing leadership team. We also got to have one-on-one sessions with the senior leaders in the organization— including the Global CEO! In addition to all the meetings, we were also exposed to cross-functional teams and visits to the factory, a visit to the creative agency, a tour in the Pet Nutrition Center, and a volunteer opportunity with the local Humane Society, where Hill’s Pet Nutrition has shelter programs. All the activities not only helped us to understand the business and the company much better, but also helped us to meet new people and bond better with the Hill’s family.

My two projects included therapeutic portfolio simplification and delivering recommendation to drive share on the non-core categories, which I truly enjoyed. In addition to market research and data analysis, I had a lot of interaction with a cross-functional team: from regional marketing teams in Canada, Europe, and the Far East, the customer development team in the U.S., and finance, supply chain, and vet affairs, I enjoyed meeting different people and learning from them! I also got to do a field visit with one of the territory managers, which helped a lot in understanding our customers and the business. By the end of the ten-week program, we all had the opportunity to deliver the final presentation to the senior management team, including the Global CEO and all the functional leaders.

Last but not least, what I enjoyed most was the culture and the friendly colleagues. We all had great managers and mentors to work with and to learn from. What’s more, you would be surprised by the number of nationalities represented in Hill’s corporate head office in Topeka (10!), especially in the global marketing team. Everyone was extremely friendly and supportive of one another!

Guest blogger: Stephanie Chen, MBA ’17

CATEGORY: Career, Student Life

Sid Sharma at Con Edison

Photo, above: Siddhartha Sharma (left) worked as an intern at Con Edison this past summer.

The only thing on my mind when I decided to pursue an MBA was to move from conventional energy to sustainable energy.

After working more than four years in conventional energy strategy division for one of the largest investment banks,  I realized that as much as I enjoy working with numbers and strategy, the carbon and environmental impact of my role on the world was not positive. At the same time, the steady growth in renewable energy sector and how alternative fuel options can have a long-term positive impact started growing on me.

Over the summer I worked with Con Edison, one of the largest investor-owned energy companies in the United States. Con Edison was exploring innovative, high-impact business models for electrifying transportation, and because of its unique service territory, the company needed tailored solutions.

As a EDF Climate Corps Fellow intern at Con Edison, I came up with a three-part strategy to help provide such a solution. First, I performed broad research, providing a deep base of knowledge on the electric vehicle (EV) value chain, key players, and international best practices for EVs.

Second, I evaluated specific utility-led pilots, synthesizing the macro and sector-specific research, and created recommendations for Con Edison actions.

Finally, I created several sophisticated financial models that incorporated over 100 variables to determine first- and third-party cash flows and lifetime value. All three pieces, the foundational research, strategic analysis, and financial quantification, positioned Con Edison to make significant, positive impacts in the EV market. I was able to provide a financially viable solution that incorporates huge amount of Carbon savings that go a long way to help NYC meet the Zero Emission Vehicle mandate.

I learned a lot about working as an external consultant in a regulated industry and how to cater to various stakeholders, and I definitely attribute a lot of the credit I received for my internship to what I learned in Olin (especially from core classes like strategy, leadership, and corporate finance). The experience of delivering a such an impactful project was something that will help me in the long-term, especially considering the stakeholders were the City of New York, Con Edison, and all of the residents in utility’s territory.

Guest blogger: Siddhartha Sharma is an MBA ’17 student at Olin Business School studying within the consulting platform.

CATEGORY: Career, Student Life

This past summer, I became an intern at an amazing nonprofit called Variety the Children’s Charity of New York, whose mission is to transform the lives of children through the arts. The office was just me and three other co-workers, so I had the opportunity to jump into whatever area I felt could best benefit from my skill set. From that, I chose social media, and took on the title of social media manager.

That being said, before this internship, I had never managed a company’s social media nor had I even thought much about doing so.  I saw an opportunity to step in and help grow this company’s online presence, so I took a shot at it and learned a ton. Through my experience and hours of research, I’m here to pass on everything I’ve learned during my summer in social media marketing.

Give the company a voice on social media

I quickly realized the importance of using social media as a tool to give your company a personalized voice. I was at a children’s charity, so it was easy to find a bubbly and friendly persona to match the charity’s mission. Giving the company a voice also allowed us to keep up with all of our grantees and sponsors on a day-to-day basis, which created a closer, more personal relationship with each of them. I was able to respond to every small event that each grantee had and support them all daily. It was also a great way to show our following the great work that we do and the amazing grantees that we fund.

Creating content that both reaffirms your company’s mission statement and includes the company name, strengthens the brand’s image.

Creating content that both reaffirms your company’s mission statement and includes the company name, strengthens the brand’s image.

Content is key!

When I told my friends that I was managing the social media for a small company, they were confused how this would be a nearly full-time job. However, what they didn’t know was how important it was to find the perfect content. From my research, I learned of the “5-3-2 Ratio” of social media posting; that is, sharing five posts of content from others, three posts of relevant content from us, and two “personal” status updates to humanize the company.  This last step is important because it creates more personal relationships with the company’s following which adds a level of loyalty that is extremely important. Although the 5-3-2 ratio is more of a guideline than a hard-and-fast rule for all social media, it was helpful in reminding me of the importance of balancing self-promotion with supporting the non-profit community.

Leave your mark (and brand) on social media

For all companies, especially smaller ones, it is important to brand all your original content. Anything that you can put your brand on, you should. I saw this to be really helpful in getting our name out there and growing the company’s following. It increases legitimacy for the company and also just strengthens the overall visibility.

Don’t overdo hashtags on Twitter or Facebook

It’s important to remember hashtags are only so helpful. They are amazing tools for growing your followership, especially when you’re tweeting about specific subjects that relate to your company—but you don’t want to overdo it.  Using one or even two hashtags per tweet is more than sufficient. If you add too many, your message becomes less clear and it looks less professional. Another great hashtag tip is to create your own hashtags for upcoming events. This will help brand the event or campaign and encourage followers to engage more!

Stay consistent in your social media voice and posting frequency

As you grow your followership, you have to think of each follower as an individual relationship. So remaining consistent on content and timing is extremely important for nurturing these relationships. You don’t want to change your topic from the arts one day to car racing the next. It’s also good to remember to tweet or post a consistent amount each day (this means weekends too!). To do this, you can plan ahead using HootSuite, which organizes your Twitter and Facebook content into categories and lets you schedule posts ahead of time.

CATEGORY: Career, Student Life