Sneak Peek Into Internships

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Ahhhh!  The end of May is almost here and the roller coaster ride of first year MBA is nearing the end of the track. Now, each of us will have a chance to set aside the books for a time and get a taste of the corporate world. It’s that time of the year—some of my classmates are already at work, and most are getting ready for their summer internships. The MBA program provides a unique opportunity to implement what we’ve learned throughout the year; a chance to trot out our fledgling management skills adapted from school to test them in the corporate world. I look at this experience in two different ways, one — as a testing ground to validate the business learning, and two — as an opportunity to discover what I really want to do with my life. I have known few of my second year friends, whose internships and full-time opportunities ended up in totally different fields. Our assistant dean at Carlson school interned in Brand management, yet ended up doing Management consulting full-time. Only the business aspect connects all of these positions and roles. Duh!!

My class has a lot to offer in terms of talent and diversity; and this is corroborated by the varied industries and positions people will be entering to spend their summers. Let me take a moment and share what some of my friends will be doing.


Greg, or Smiley Greg, as everyone lovingly calls him, has a background in Consulting, and has worked for Deloitte for a good number of years. Greg is super friendly and I started getting to know him better after showing up at his tailgates. Yes, Greg hosts some of the best tailgate parties in town. As it turns out he was not fulfilled with his previous job and explored many different career paths that would incorporate his interests. He will be working in Corporate Development at Partners in Food Solutions (PFS) over the summer. PFS is a non-profit organization that works closely with large food companies and impact investors to bring capital, knowledge, and technology to growing businesses in the developing world, mainly countries in Africa. He will be working on finding new partnerships for further expansion and is excited to see what all he can accomplish this summer.





Kiran is my flat mate, and a close friend. You will always find us together, both at school and at TAPS. Kiran has a background in product management, and he will be going to Amazon for the summer where he will be working in technical product management. He started his career search and networking early, way back in the fall. His experience when combined with his immense endurance and ability to have a conversation with anyone, have worked pretty well in his favor to secure him the most desired internship position for a first year MBA student. God save Amazon!




Jeremy aka Presidente, the MBAA president, was among the earliest to land an internship among first year students. He came well prepared to the first year class, and knew what he wanted to do right from day one. He is going to Microsoft for the summer and will be working in Product Marketing. As icing on the cake, he also got free Surface Pro from Microsoft, which he showed off over the entire school year. He will be starting his internship late in June.







UMN Logo for the office of Technology Commercalization

As for me, let me share my story now. I have experience working in the IT industry, and I aspire to work in product management post MBA. I have worked for a services company and so have no background whatsoever in working with products. Also the tech scene in the twin cities is still evolving, and there are few great companies where I would love to work. These two reasons made it difficult for me to get a position that I really I desired. One thing I have learned in my first year at B-school is that when things don’t go your way, you pivot. I started looking for opportunities that would give me a hands-on experience with products, and that’s when I bumped into an open position at the Office for technology commercialization. They needed an intern at the Venture Center to work on University research and check market feasibility to form a startup. I networked with people who had worked there in the past and realized that working in this position would be a great experience. On my first day at work as an Intern, I was introduced to the rest of the team and tagged along for a weekly stage gate meeting. I had no idea what was going on, but I did realize that the first year of ‘b’ school at least got me familiar with the business lingo. I could understand what the person in charge meant when she said “The market traction says otherwise, so we have to change our strategy!” At that point in time, I knew that this was the right job for me, and I was going to have a great time working here.

Good luck fellow students. I look forward to hearing from you over the summer and into the fall. Enjoy this opportunity to see the realities of the business world first hand. Whatever, situation you end up in this summer, look up down and all around you to see the possibilities for the future!