It has almost been a month since the semester begun and I am definitely overdue for a post. This semester has been quite busy. Once again, I somehow ended up doing much more than I intended – I am working as a Graduate Fellow for the Office of Career Development (OCD), planning the spring break trip for Stern in Africa, and taking an education practicum at Columbia Law that’s worth 12 credits – I feel like all of these deserve their own posts (more to come)!! Of course I love being busy and being active but as I sit in front of this computer, 10pm on a Sunday night, after a weekend trying to catch up so that I can start the week fresh – I know that I definitely need to learn the definition of work/life balance.
Today though, I want to talk about my summer internship! I spent my summer in San Francisco working for a tech company. I was on the sales team, and had an account management role. Funny enough, it took me a couple of visits to our client’s office in San Jose for me to realize that I was in the famous Silicon Valley! You should have seen the smile on my face!!
I spent a lot of time recruiting last year, as I was trying to figure out what I would enjoy doing the most. I am a very curious person, and can see myself doing very different things. Before accepting this offer though, I was hesitating between this and a startup. The startup was in New York, and I would have had an operations role. This was a great opportunity to do work where I would have immediately seen the impact that I was having. However, I chose to accept the San Francisco offer for two reasons:
- The exposure: I was part of a program that was recruiting for African countries – which is where I want to end up eventually. This was a great opportunity for me to be able to learn more about what the company was doing, and to network with people on the ground.
- The role: I had never done sales as a role on its own, and wanted to see how it would feel, since that is what most multinational firms recruit for in Africa. I had a great team, and enjoyed my projects. Even though I would be successful in sales, I now know that I really do enjoy operations, and that I prefer working with clients on their strategy, operational improvements, implementations models, and such…
Finally, I had never been to California. Since I am not planning on spending my life in the US (so far), I took the opportunity and played tourist. My sister visited me from Toronto, and we went to Napa. I also visited the Big Sur, Monterey, and went to LA. I loved that I had the time to go to the gym, cook, and explore the city with friends. Overall I loved my summer experience: I learned a lot, had impact on my team, and discovered a new region. I left feeling refreshed and I cannot wait to see what this year has in store 🙂