Tag: internship



Part of a series about summer internships from Olin MBA ’20 students. Today we hear from Tim Segrist who worked at Spire Energy as a corporate development intern.

I spent the summer as a corporate development intern at Spire Inc.—a natural gas distribution company serving cities throughout the Midwest and Southeast. Entering my MBA at Olin I knew I wanted to get involved in mergers and acquisitions and being able to do that from my hometown in St. Louis was a great opportunity.

Throughout the summer, I was able get involved in many of the different steps in the deal process (sourcing, modeling, due diligence, etc.). Ultimately, I was fascinated at how many inputs go into the buying decision as a strategic buyer and how different it is than a strictly financial process.

Day-to-day, my tasks were never the same (no two deals are truly alike, after all). I spent the first few weeks doing a deep-dive into the natural gas industry. It is difficult to be impactful in corporate development without fully understanding what the drivers of the business are.

I enjoyed this process as I was able to connect with different leaders throughout the company and hear about their experiences. My first real project involved doing analysis around the weighted average cost of capital we use for our models and helping build a precedent transactions model for buying local distribution companies (utilities). After that, I did work sourcing potential deals by researching financials, operations, and strategic fit.

Finally, I led the modeling on a deal which gave me practical experience on how to build a model that is scalable, flexible, and accurate. I really appreciated the variety of the role, as it gave me significant opportunity to learn as much as possible.

The internship was valuable for a plethora of reasons—notably, being able to apply classroom learning and work closely with impressive people (the corporate development team consistently presents to the C-suite). If I were to pass along any advice to others looking for/starting an internship:

1. Find a role where you can constantly learn. This summer has given me a lot of clarity on the type of industry, role, and career path I am going to pursue going forward.

2. Talk to as many people as you can throughout the internship—it has given me a great network of people I can keep up with going forward and allowed my projects to be more impactful.




Employers are increasingly emphasizing experiential learning when searching for new job candidates.

An internship is a great way to strengthen your résumé, gain more insight into potential career paths, and develop your skill set. Employers also use internships to evaluate and identify excellent full-time candidates. But where to start? The Weston Career Center provides this 10-step process from the latest Career Guide:

1. Research industries, companies, or organizations of interest

Devoting time to career exploration will help you make an informed decision about your career path and will help you launch an effective internship search. Start by learning as much as you can about different functions, industries, companies, and geographic areas. Do your research to clearly define your internship objectives. Learn more about different companies and opportunities, and build relationships early, so when recruiters are ready to hire interns, you will be top of mind.

Consider alternatives to traditional corporate internships:

Government

Search www.makingthedifference.org for internships with federal and state agencies. Start with a general search to learn about the wide variety of opportunities.

The Partnership for Public Service’s Internship Directory includes information on more than 200 federal internship programs and is searchable by agency, eligibility, location, etc. You may also want to check out the student section of www.usajobs.gov for a complete list of federal internship programs.

Federal agencies are not required to advertise internships, so some are publicized only on the agency’s website. Even if no internships are posted, offer to meet for an informational interview at a local agency office.

Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurial ventures and startups offer hands-on experience and the chance to use your business knowledge across a wide spectrum of industries and functions. Seek opportunities in areas such as marketing, technology, finance, accounting, and business strategy.

Nonprofit organizations

Gain experience and exposure to business concepts by interning or volunteering with campus or community organizations. Many organizations, especially nonprofits, seek interns and volunteers. Explore the online resource www.volunteermatch.org, or check out nonprofit organizations by geographic location through the Book of Lists, available in the WCC.

Washington University

Consider working on campus. Visit the Office of Student Financial Services, or ask faculty and department offices whether they need any assistance with research or other projects. Search CAREERlink, MBAFocus, and the University’s Human Resources website for part-time and summer jobs.

Getting an internship when studying abroad

Students and employers alike value the skills and experiences gained through time spent in a different country and getting to know a different culture. Many students study abroad during fall or spring of their junior year, then return to complete an internship in the United States. You will want to maximize your efforts to secure an internship before you leave.

  • Make career advising appointments with the WCC to discuss your strategy and conduct mock interviews.
  • Research industries and companies to pursue and create a target list.
  • Network! Connect with alumni and recruiters and conduct informational interviews.
  • Know your internship opportunities—especially with companies that interview early for study abroad students.
  • Include a paragraph in your cover letter that states you will be or are abroad and include your availability. Offer to communicate by phone or Skype while you are away.

Working overseas

Spending time abroad is an exciting and rewarding experience. Finding an internship in a foreign country, however, can be a challenging and time-consuming process. Networking with alumni in your target location is particularly important. Identify alumni, and reach out for advice on internship search strategies in the host country.

If you are seeking an internship while abroad, set aside regular time to continue your search. If you are seeking an opportunity after your return, continue to utilize your network connections, further expand your network, and make use of WCC services.

2. Explore career tracks, and start building your network

Explore your options, and dig deeper in your research and exploration to identify the best match to meet your career goals. Begin networking with everyone you know—family, friends, professors, career advisor, and neighbors, to identify potential “informational interviews.” Once you have identified an individual, do your homework—research the contact and company and develop a list of questions. Be professional—identify yourself and be transparent about your intentions. Informational interviews serve two important purposes: research and networking. They also allow you to start building relationships with “insiders” who can provide valuable advice and insight to help you evaluate your internship opportunities.

3. Develop a target list of internship opportunities

From your research, create a target list of companies you wish to pursue, and develop an action plan to drive your internship search. A target list includes companies/opportunities you’d like to pursue, with clear and attainable goals, objectives, and timelines. This list will allow you to effectively manage communication and application records.

4. Prepare a market-ready résumé

A polished résumé is your marketing message and should clearly articulate your skills and experiences. Remember: A résumé must be relevant to the internship, concise with good use of action verbs, and error-free. Use Optimal Résumé as a template to easily develop your résumé in the Olin format. Seek feedback on your résumé from a WCC or MCC advisor.

5. Write engaging cover letters.

A well-written cover letter tells your story and invites the reader to learn more about your interests, qualifications, and fit for an internship. Develop a personalized cover letter for each internship application. Just like a résumé, a cover letter must be tailored and relevant to a specific position. Use Olin’s Management Communication Center to fine-tune your written communication skills.

6. Apply for internships

The most successful search strategy combines Olin online job posting sites, networking, and time. Check job postings often for new entries and deadlines. Use the individual research and networking relationships you are developing to connect with target companies and identify internship opportunities.

7. Schedule practice interviews

Practice interviews allow you to hone your interviewing technique and receive feedback to develop and refine your interviewing skills. You will gain confidence through preparation and practice. Conduct a practice interview with a WCC career advisor, alum, or mentor for feedback on your interviewing technique.

8. Interview and follow up

Most interviews include behavioral-based questions, such as “Tell me about a time you showed leadership,” or “Give me an example of when you were a strong contributor to a team.” Employers expect you to be familiar with details about the company and the position.

Case interviews are growing in popularity. For example, “Is it a good idea for your client to consider opening a high-speed train service between St. Louis and Kansas City?” Case interviews focus on your ability to solve a business problem and are usually a standard part of consulting interviews, although other fields, such as finance and marketing, also use them.

You should have well-prepared, well-informed, inquisitive, and articulate questions prepared in writing to ask during and at the end of the interview. After the interview, be sure to send a thank-you note.

9. Evaluate offers

Evaluate offers, and respond in an appropriate and timely fashion. Determine how well the position matches your experience expectations and career goals. Talk through your internship offers with a WCC career advisor.

10. Accept an offer, and make the most of the experience

Congratulations! You’ve accepted an internship. Employers use internships as extended evaluation periods for full-time job offers. Be prepared to make a good first impression while maximizing your learning experience.

Could you use the support of the Weston Career Center or Management Communication Center? Schedule an appointment today. 




When we asked Olin entrepreneurs to help us out with last minute holiday shopping, they responded with discounts and freebies like this one from Fresh Prints – the t-shirt company that got its start right here at WashU. Fresh Prints Co-President Jacob Goodman, BSBA’15, is generously offering free t-shirts and wants to hear from students interested in summer internships!

Fresh Prints Promotion: The first 15 WashU students that email jeremy@freshprints.com saying “gimme free stuff” with their size and shipping address get a free Bella + Canvas t-shirt sent to them.

Goodman

Goodman

More good news from Fresh Prints’ Goodman, he says, “Fresh Prints had it’s largest year-over-year growth in company history in 2016. We’re now at over 100 Campus Managers nationwide, and we’re working towards being at all 2,500 four year universities around the country.

We’re hiring quickly, and so shoot me an email (jacob@freshprints.com) if you’re graduating and think you’re a good fit, or you want a summer internship!!”

 

Congratulations to the whole team at Fresh Prints and thank you for being part of the Olin Holiday Shop-a-thon!

Read more about Fresh Prints on WashU Fuse.

Recent Fresh Prints T-shirt creations:

Photos courtesy of Fresh Prints.




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.




Intel literally puts the silicon in “Silicon Valley” and is the world’s largest and highest valued semiconductor chip maker based on revenue. In 1978, Intel engineers invented the x86 architecture, which has been adopted as the industry standard for manufacturing microprocessors. Intel architecture provides stability for hardware and software solutions throughout the value chain. Intel sells processors to computer system manufacturers like Dell, HP, Lenova, Apple, and Samsung. As a result, Intel processors are found in most personal computers and other computing form factors. The engineers at Intel are the premier experts in their field and often have as many as 20 patents to their names.

Innovation is not a buzz word at Intel to be thrown around lightly.

Intel business leaders and engineer architectures developed processors for the Saturn V rocket that put man on the moon, and they continue to develop solutions that will eventually power smart cities and machine learning in the near future. If you stream Netflix, you are witnessing the power of an Intel Xeon processor in an Amazon server farm.

For my internship, I was assigned to the Client Computing Group (CCG). CCG is Intel’s largest group by revenue and sells Pentium, Celeron, and Core processors to large enterprises and consumers. My project was to find specific new use cases or markets for a technology called Intel Active Management Technology (Intel AMT). Intel AMT provides out-of-band manageability, or manageability even when the system is turned off or when the Operating System is failing, for enterprises to manage their IT systems more effectively. Intel AMT has been around for 10 years, and commands the highest product margin in the enterprise desktop and notebook space.  For business clients, Intel’s strategy has always been to drive sell-up to AMT Core i5/i7. This sell-up provides millions in incremental revenue each year for Intel’s Client Computing Group.

To discover new use cases, I first developed a business framework to filter and test new ideas. The first part of the framework addresses if there is a need for remote out-of-band manageability. Often times, most problems can be resolved in-band, or when the power is turned on. AMT is only value-added if the customer needs manageability out-of-band or when the system is in an off-state. Then I looked at the specific capabilities of Intel AMT (power control, remediation, virtual boot) and decided which use cases would require these specific capabilities. The most important criteria in this part of the framework was the probability of system failure. If a system has a very low probability of failure, there is not really a compelling reason to have out-of-band manageability because in the very rare event of failure, there is no financially compelling reason to invest in Intel AMT. Finally, I conducted market sizing to determine the total addressable markets and market segment shares for use cases that were selected from the framework. After I developed a market model, I was able to provide net present value ranges for my project recommendations by analyzing the amount of upsell and market segment share gain my recommendation would receive.

The finance intern coordinators in Oregon did a great job of planning and executing extracurricular activities for the interns. In addition to a host of happy hours and social events, the coordinators took the interns zip lining, hiking, and white water rafting. There were plenty of opportunities provided to interact and network with operations partners and finance leaders from each of the business units, including iCap, Intel’s venture capital firm.

Intel finance roles require developing business acumen and becoming a strategic thinker.

Finance supports the various business units in a way that is similar to how combat arms branches support maneuver units in the Army. As a field artillery officer I was always supporting an infantry commander two or three levels above my own grade. It was my job to understand their intent and provide recommendations based on my indirect fires capabilities.

This relationship and organization is nearly identical to how Intel finance supports their business partners. A finance manager or controller often supports a general manager or vice president that is much senior. The operations partners depend on finance leaders to provide unbiased financial analysis that represents the shareholder’s best interests.

Guest blogger: Army veteran and 2nd year Olin MBA student Joe Langella

Photo courtesy of Flickr/summerfairy