Summer Internship: Working at 3M

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

This summer I am interning at 3M in their Strategy & Marketing Development (SMD) program. The program employs 15 interns and ~30 full-time strategists, who work as internal consultants on strategy, marketing, and business development projects across 3M’s 27 business groups. 

I am working on two projects: An individual project within the Display Materials and Systems Division (DMSD), and a partner project in Critical and Chronic Care Solutions (C3SD).  The two projects are very different in terms of the skills they require and the end goal, which makes each day’s activities highly varied and engaging! My DMSD project is a pure B2B marketing assignment—I am looking at the market for desktop and tablet privacy filters and trying to connect with IT decision-makers on which factors they consider and value when making a purchase decision. My C3SD assignment requires me to map out international sales of Tegaderm IV dressings, based on product type and medical practice in each area. This assignment, though challenging, is particularly rewarding to me because it is global in scope, and requires me to do a lot of quantitative analysis. I do not consider myself to be particularly savvy when it comes to Microsoft Excel, so the crash course in heavy data analysis will serve me well in my second year of B-school!

Intravenus Catheters

Learning about Peripheral Intravenous Catheters

A little bit about me… I am a Minnesota native, but I spent my undergraduate years out East at Colgate University. Upon graduating with a liberal arts degree in English and Asian Studies, I moved to Chicago where I worked in advertising on a number of large CPG brands. I joke that advertising was the “best first job ever”—It allowed me to work closely with fun, creative, left-brained individuals while being exposed to the consumer goods business. My decision to go to business school was motivated by a desire to learn and do more. After four years working in the narrow world of consumer-facing creative, I wanted to have a hand in day-to-day operations, and to see how my decisions could influence overall business performance.  I was also motivated by self-improvement. It was important to me to round out my liberal arts education with a basic understanding of finance, accounting, supply chain, Excel, B2B marketing, design thinking, innovation, and more! My coursework at Carlson equipped me for my internship at 3M and continues to make me a better, more well-rounded businesswoman and person.

Selfie on the 4th of July

4th of July Travels: Billie and Joe Ohlin(another MBA 2018 student)

When I moved back to MN and started at Carlson, I was singularly focused on working at General Mills. However, as I began to nurture my interest in design, innovation and new product development, a wise person (my father) suggested I look at 3M. “3M?” I thought, “Why would I want to work at an old-school manufacturing company?” I scheduled a few coffee chats with former 3M interns and current 3M employees and quickly learned how wrong I was. 3M is consistently modernizing all aspects of their business, and the SMD group gets first-hand exposure to those initiatives. Plus, every person I talked to spoke about the great culture at 3M, and how well the company treats its employees. 3M was my first-choice company when I went into on-campus recruiting in January, and I was pleased that my networking and case interview preparation paid off when I was given an offer (which I immediately accepted!).

Every person I’ve met at 3M has been so willing to talk about their professional experience, their research, and the reasons they love 3M. The SMD program has done a great deal to show us the company and the Twin Cities area, and I couldn’t be happier. 


3M's SMD Interns visit the 3M Design Center