Tag: internships



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. 




There are many appealing aspects about the Olin experience: The world class faculty, small class size, supportive students, and intellectually stimulating curriculum. But one area where Olin truly excels is at its job placement rate, where 96% of its Full-Time MBA graduates receive job offers within 3 months after graduation with a median salary of $100,000. However, the caveat to this is that the onus is on the student to put himself or herself in a position to take advantage of these opportunities.

Personally, from outset of the fall semester, I was actively searching for internship opportunities.

I got my resume and LinkedIn profiles proofread from the WCC as soon as possible, and immediately was looking for opportunities on MBAFocus. I also reached out to those from whom I received business cards from at MBA networking events. These information sessions I scheduled were incredibly informative. In addition, I prepared well in advance for the MBA Veterans Career Conference in October in Chicago, which proved to be an embarrassment of riches as far as internship/job opportunities were concerned.

With regards to translating my military experience into my resume and interviews, there are some keys to remember. First, it is imperative to jettison military jargon and use civilian-speak when talking about your experiences. That will make the company you are targeting more keen on hiring you. Second, emphasize the leadership and managerial responsibilities you had while on active duty. This is what gives you a competitive advantage over many of your civilian peers. Finally, emphasize any awards and decorations you received, as employers want to know examples of when you stood out from your peers.

If I could do something differently, I would have started preparing for case interviews much sooner.

Regardless of the platform you may choose, many firms in all areas will have a case interview in addition to a behavioral interview. In both of these, you need to come across as polished and prepared if you expect to receive an offer.

The book “Case in Point” is a great way to prepare. Also, utilize your peer network and the great resources at the WCC, as they will be more than willing to put you in a position to succeed. Read up on your desired company’s history, its financial statements, and leadership changes, if any, at the company. This will be a great indication of how much you want to work at said company. But at the end of the day, BE YOURSELF. Companies are seeking corporate fit in addition to qualifications annotated on the resume, and if you’re not a fit for the company, it’s not going to be beneficial to either party for you to work there.

All of my preparation culminated in me receiving an Corporate Finance internship offer at Intel in Portland, Oregon. I look forward to applying all I learned at Olin at Intel. And while I’m there, I’ll be more than happy to answer your questions as you start your internship search. Feel free to drop me a line.

Guest Blogger: Ravi Balu, MBA ’18




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




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.




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.


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