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.
January 28th, 2018: two days after my final round interview with EY’s OTS practice.
The Philadelphia Eagles were 1 week away from winning the Super Bowl and on a bye, so there was nothing to distract me from my incessant worrying about how my interviews went. Before going to bed, I did one final check of my emails and . . . 1 unread email from EY. Could this be it? Is . . . could it be the culmination of recruiting season. YES! Although I had two more final round interviews scheduled for the following week, I knew that I was going to accept EY’s offer to join the OTS practice for the summer. The practice offered everything I was looking for in an internship – an entrepreneurially minded culture, the ability to learn the operations of a company inside and out, and experience with M&A. Needless to say, I was a happy man.
Fast forward to May 30th, day 1 of my summer. I was assigned to a Working Capital project for a global life sciences company. On one hand, I was happy to be staffed on a life sciences project. On the other, I was expecting an M&A project but instead was placed on a Working Capital project. While familiar with the concept of working capital, I knew very little about what a working capital project was for EY. After meeting my team and learning about our project, my trepidation turned into excitement. The project was focused on optimizing the clients’ Working Capital (I LOVE optimization work) and my team seemed like an ideal group to learn from due to their experience and personality. Thankfully my first impression was correct. My teammates have been more than willing to answer any questions I have had (and there were a lot), but most importantly, they have trusted me in front of the client once I proved I was capable. For a summer intern new to consulting, that was a huge confidence boost.
So, what did I actually DO this summer? Great question. In ~10 weeks I: worked on a proposal to win our practice new work, assisted in the buildout of an accounts receivable assessment tool for our client, built a Working Capital benchmarking tool now being used practice-wide for business development efforts, built a supplier management tool being implemented globally with our client, and recommended an MBA recruiting strategy for OTS’s IT vertical. I also got VERY familiar with Excel, Alteryx, and Tableau – 3 practical skills that will no doubt be useful in the future. Ironically for a consulting internship, I have only made 10 slides in PowerPoint . . . but I promise they were good slides! I can honestly say that I never expected to be exposed to so much during my summer internship, nor expected that I would learn so much in such a short period of time.
I focused most of my recruiting energy in the fall on the pursuit of a consulting internship and was fortunate enough to land my top choice. I pursued consulting because I wanted a role that would consistently challenge me, a role that put me in a near-constant state of learning, and a role where I was a member of a team. My experience this summer provided all of those things. For those incoming MBA’s who may still be unsure of what roles they want to pursue, or whether consulting is right for them, I implore you to attend as many recruiting events this fall as you can and talk to as many people as you can. One of the biggest benefits of attending Stern is the network. Do not be shy, and utilize that network to connect with alumni working full-time in your industry of interest, with MBA 2’s who had great summer experiences in your industry of choice, and even MBA 2’s who may not have had great experiences during the summer. Each of those perspectives will be important to hear, and will help you decide what internship you want to pursue.