Daniel Villaveces is a rising MBA2 and interning at QuintilesIMS this summer. He is specializing in Entrepreneurship & Innovation and is a member of the Stern Healthcare Association, Stern Student Government, and the Management Consulting Association
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.
People who’ve done their MBA often say it was a transformative experience for them and that they wish they could do it all over again. After having completed one year of school, and 70% of my summer internship, I have to say I wholeheartedly agree with them. I have learned more about myself in the last year or so than I have in any other year of my life. A large part of these lessons has come from applying to and doing my internship in consulting.
It all started with my dissatisfaction in my prior career in medicine. After I gathered the courage to switch careers, despite having a great opportunity in my old career, I was somewhat lost. I had devoted over 10 years of my life to learning and practicing medicine, and this was the first time I had even considered doing something else. After reaching out to my network, talking to others who had left medicine before me and reading way too many articles titled “7 things you should do before you switch careers,” I decided I wanted to be a management consultant. This path allowed me to have an impactful career while being exposed to and learning about different aspects of business, something that I felt a career in industry could not give me.
Better men than me have written about the process of getting an internship in consulting at Stern, so I will save you the details. I will only say that it is a long and arduous process that starts early in your first semester and ends well after first semester is long gone. (Pro tip: don’t come to school with the plan of figuring out what you want to do, start doing research about potential post-graduation careers, and how to get there, before you get to school). It is also a process that required me to be genuine and deliberate about my career choice, so it forced me to think long and hard about what matters most to me in life – and it is through that self-reflection that I ultimately learned the most valuable lessons.
Even though the process was demanding (or perhaps because of it), it was extremely rewarding to see my efforts pay off when I was offered a position at QuintilesIMS doing healthcare consulting. The 7 weeks I have spent there have taught me many lessons. The first one is, as they say when you’re running a race, to trust your training. I have often amazed myself at how much I’ve learned in two semesters of business school, especially considering I had no prior business experience. The second is that you should see your internship as another huge learning experience. Don’t be afraid to say “I don’t know,” to ask questions and to meet as many people as you can. Ultimately, your internship is where you get to try out a career for 10 weeks, so you better make sure you put it to the test. After all the self-reflection you did prior to the MBA, you owe it to yourself.
I’d like to close by saying that there is obviously more to my MBA experience than I could fit into a blog post about my internship. If you want to know more about any of it (e.g. what is it like to be an international student? What are the best places to go running in the city? How to survive on 50c/day in NYC? What are the 7 things you should do before you switch careers?), please don’t hesitate to contact me this fall at firstname.lastname@example.org. Until next time!