Sami Abdisubhan is a rising MBA2 and a Global MBA Summer Intern at Anheuser-Busch. Sami serves as VP of Marketing & Operations for Stern in Africa (SiA), VP of Training for Stern FC, and Co-President of the Association of Hispanic and Black Business Students (AHBBS). He is specializing in Marketing and Business Analytics.
NYU Stern’s “Summer Internship Series” sheds light into Sternies’ internship experiences. Posts are written by rising MBA2s who are currently working at their summer internship.
When starting my MBA journey years before putting down my NYU Stern deposit, I had made the decision to move away from my B2B sales and marketing career into what initially drew me into marketing, CPG marketing. Everyone I interacted with, admissions officers, peers, strangers on airplanes, knew brand management was my goal. So when I got the call sharing the news I had received an offer to intern at Anheuser-Busch in marketing, I was ecstatic. It was exactly what I had written my admissions essays about! A sense of incredible pride and relief passed through me: I accomplished what I set out to do.
Fast forwarding to the job, I’m now nearing the end of my internship at AB. My summer project has been to revamp how my brand, Estrella Jalisco, a Mexican import in the Premium beer category, utilizes programmatic advertising, both tactically in this summer’s marketing campaigns and strategically moving forward. I feel very fortunate to have enjoyed my work experience this summer from all perspectives, the work, the people, etc. However, there were isolated moments where the stresses of an MBA summer felt overwhelming.
A common saying or piece of commentary in the business school environment is that MBAs must feel a level of comfort with ambiguity and uncertainty and it makes sense. MBA graduates are their respective organizations’ next leaders and that level of strategic decision-making or navigation usually isn’t done with clear-cut choices. In some cases, mine included, the summer internship is a quick preview into that world. There were instances where I wasn’t sure how to proceed, whether it was because I didn’t have the necessary data or direction. And this wasn’t isolated to just my project work but the relationship management aspects of the internship as well.
How I’ve been able to overcome these challenges relates to my preparation before the internship. It’s very easy, ridiculously easy actually, to sign an internship offer and not want to think about the job until the last final exam or paper submission, especially with the social and adventurous life that is MBA life. As the Office of Career Development and the various professional clubs, like the Graduate Marketing Association, will highlight though, to succeed is to start thinking about the internship early. Both groups of organizations have multiple, well-planned sessions to ensure students plan for success in the internship and take the needed steps to set themselves up. Some of the clubs call those sessions Knowledge Management sessions and it’s highly recommended to attend. I made sure to go to as many of these as I could to put myself in the best position possible.
Additionally, the coffee chats don’t stop once that offer is secured. It makes sense to take a break but as the start date gets closer, it’s important to interact with those connections made during recruiting to now understand how to make the most out of the summer, professionally and personally. If the office is in New York, an in-person chat is especially great! Not only do the chats help with preparation but they also showcase excitement to the full-timers. As I’m in NYC, I was able to meet with those who were supportive in my recruiting process and I believe it was instrumental as I was able to get the guidance necessary while also creating mentors and internal advocates at AB who just wanted to see me win.
So while a lot of first year, especially fall semester, emphasizes “getting the offer”, it’s important to remember that even if it’s the dream company, internship work doesn’t end when one signs on the dotted line. It’s 100% an accomplishment that should be celebrated at length but the job isn’t done. Whether it’s to get an offer to return full-time or to show impact and success to another employer while recruiting as an MBA2, there’s more to accomplish. And speaking on behalf of my MBA2 classmates and myself, we are here to help!