Eric Bauer is a rising MBA2 and a Summer Senior Associate at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). Eric holds leadership roles on the European Business Society, the Luxury and Retail Club and the Stern Student Government. He is specializing in Business Analytics, Finance, and Management
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.
It’s wild to think that a year ago I was sitting in my room in Oklahoma wondering what it might be like to live and work in the Big Apple, yet here I am doing just that. The first year of business school was filled with good times, great people, and memories that I’ll never forget, and it exceeded my expectations in every way! While there was lots of fun to be had, it didn’t come without a bit of hard work and an arduous semester of recruiting.
When I first arrived in New York last fall, I have to admit that I wasn’t completely certain where I wanted to end up for the summer and what exactly it was that I wanted to do. I knew that the retail industry intrigued me, but I wasn’t sure through which means I wanted to explore it. I’d thought about rotational development programs and in-house strategy roles, but it wasn’t until I more seriously considered consulting that I knew it was the path for me. After making my way through the many coffee chats, cases, and interviews of the recruiting cycle, I was very fortunate to have received multiple offers. I ultimately accepted a role as a Summer Senior Associate with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), specifically in their Consumer Markets/Retail vertical, and was beyond excited about the opportunity.
Four weeks ago, I started that internship as part of an engagement team staffed on a project for a Fortune 100 company. Our assignment was to develop a retail strategy for the client from the ground up, which was something new to me and completely out of my comfort zone. I began the project thinking I’d be handheld by my team and slowly allowed to find my footing, but, instead, they expected me to hit the ground running – a surprise that’s made for an incredibly challenging yet exciting few weeks! While I’d been told by many people throughout my first year at Stern that a summer consulting role will give you the opportunity to make a real impact and gain great exposure, I was not expecting it to be as much of a reality as it has been. I’d honestly taken that information with a grain of salt and assumed that, as an intern, I would play more of a supporting role than anything. However, now, a mere four weeks into my internship, I can say that everything that I was told is true, and the level at which I am expected and allowed to perform at has made for such a fulfilling and developmental experience. In these first few weeks on my assignment, I’ve already worked on so many key aspects of the strategy and have been entrusted by my manager to have complete control over my work. On top of that, my findings, analyses, and recommendations have been presented directly to top leaders of the company, which has been incredibly rewarding.
Beyond the day-to-day functions of the role, I’ve been lucky to be surrounded by hard working and talented colleagues, and I even have the great fortune of sharing the experience at PwC with 10 other Sternies. Having so many of my classmates at the same firm for the summer has served as a great internal support system, and, in my opinion, is a testament to one of the many unique advantages of NYU’s program, since so many of us get the privilege of staying in New York for the summer. The first month of my internship has been more than I’d hoped for, and I’m eager to see what the next six weeks have in store for me.
As I reflect on the first month of my internship, and the first year of business school as a whole, I’m remembering all of the uncertainties I’d had back in Oklahoma when I was deciding about making the move – the cost of the program, the professional direction I wanted to head, the decision to leave the career I’d been building, and so on. In this moment, however, speaking from the other side, I can say with complete certainty that I would do it all again. Taking a huge leap like this was scary, but I trusted the process and, so far, I’ve been able to make a reality out of what I’d only ever played out in my head. I live in the greatest city in the world, attend an amazing school, I’m surrounded by the most incredible classmates, and, from a professional standpoint, I’ve been catapulted to another level. I can’t imagine attending business school anywhere else or with any other people, and I feel as though coming to Stern has been one of the best decisions of my life. I look forward to year 2 and beyond and can’t wait to see where else this experience takes me!