Summer Internship Series: Stifel

Sam is an MBA2 specializing in finance, business analytics and strategy.  At Stern, he serves as a VP of Mentorship with the Private Equity & Venture Capital Club and VP of Communications with the Entrepreneurship & Start-Up Association in addition to other leadership roles on campus. Sam graduated from the University of California, Berkeley in 2015 with a Bachelor’s in Molecular and Cell Biology.

NYU Stern’s “Summer Internship Series” sheds lights into Sternies’ internships. Posts are written by rising MBA2s who are currently working at their summer internship.

I recruited in the fall with a class of nearly a hundred Stern students for Investment Banking. Unlike most of my classmates, I did not secure my internship offer in the second week of January. After on-campus interviews and final round interviews had finished, I was without an offer and faced with the difficult task of recruiting in the Spring recruiting cycle. Instead of perceiving my process as failed and broken, I stayed positive, doubled down on my interview preparation, invested time in networking and moved forward. In the subsequent weeks, I went through a series of first round and Super Day interviews and in the second week of February was relieved to receive an internship offer at Stifel. 

I started my internship in June and was fortunate to be placed with the group with which I had the most interactions during the recruiting process, the Global Technology Group. The Global Technology Group at Stifel had recently acquired a boutique middle-market technology, Mooreland Partners, that specialized in middle-market technology M&A deals. As a result, the Global Technology Group grew to over 100 investment bankers around the world and significantly enhanced its senior experience across sub-verticals. I sat  (virtually) in New York City, the global headquarters, and worked with colleagues in San Francisco, London, China, Japan, Germany, Brasil and Israel among many other nations. Over the course of the summer, my staffers exposed me to each of the four verticals in the Global Technology Group: Software, Electronics & Industrial Technologies, Tech-Enabled Services and Internet & Digital Media while maximizing my interactions with as many bankers in the group as possible.

One of the amazing parts of my internship was working with over thirty investment bankers in New York City from all levels: first year Analysts through seasoned Managing Directors. I gained exposure to senior leadership across the firm in Consumer Retail, Healthcare, Gaming and Technology through programmed virtual, yet intimate, fireside chats. In these small group settings, the other Summer Associates and I gleaned valuable insights into how many of the senior bankers built their careers – some of them had transitioned from MBAs into Investment Banking themselves. It was a nice way to learn more about the future of the career path and how the responsibilities will increase at each level in Investment Banking.

Overall, I got to see two live sell-side processes, a buy-side process, an endless number of pitches and multiple cross-collaborations between different coverage groups across through firm. It was interesting to observe different stages of the deal process through different deals. For example, one deal showed me how a deal is initiated through an exclusive advisory agreement and management call with the C-suite team while another deal exposed me to a more advanced staged of a deal after a confidential information memorandum (CIM) had been completed and the deal team was going to market. In all, the experience helped me see how deals progress through managing day-to-day transaction execution.  In addition to working on live deals, I worked on client facing marketing material that the group uses to garner interest from investors, sponsors and strategics. I had the opportunity to dig into some interesting sub-verticals in the group including Cyber Security and Enterprise Software to update the materials with the latest market research and competitive analyses. It was an incredibly stimulating and educational experience that showed me the role of Investment Bankers in advising companies on strategic and financial decisions.

While my process was atypical compared with many of my peers and classmates, it taught me a few valuable lessons that I will take with me into the future of my career. For one, struggling to secure an offer instilled in me the importance of perseverance in approaching adversity. It is important to stay positive when working toward a goal and to control what is in one’s control: attitude, preparation and execution. The experience also inculcated in me a deep appreciation for the power of the Stern community and brand. I owe a lifetime of thanks to the alumni, office of career development, MBA2s and my MBA1 peers who provided moral support and constructive feedback throughout the process. I’m thankful to the Stern network, in particular Serena Lu, an ex-Stifel investment banker and Stern graduate who helped me navigate the recruiting process on-campus for Stifel. Lastly, I’m grateful for my friends and family who made the hard work, late nights, early mornings and everything in between worth the challenge and effort.

Summer Internship Series: Kalypso

Lanesha is an MBA2 specializing in digital strategy and marketing.  Prior to Stern, she worked within Accenture’s federal practice as a technology consulting analyst, helping different government agencies implement and maintain technology systems.  At Stern, she serves as the VP of Treks for the Association of Hispanic and Black Business Students. Lanesha graduated from Howard University in 2015 with a B.B.A. in Supply Chain Management.

NYU Stern’s “Summer Internship Series” sheds lights into Sternies’ internships. Posts are written by rising MBA2s who are currently working at their summer internship.

This summer I’m interning at Kalypso, a boutique consulting firm that specializes in digital projects.  I had a unique recruiting experience; I recruited at the Consortium conference last summer and received a couple of offers before starting school.  Prior to signing for my internship, I made it crystal clear what type of work I did and did not want to do.  Pre-Stern I worked for Accenture in their federal practice as a software implementation analyst.  My roles were very tech-heavy and I was intent on trying something different for my internship.  I expressed to the recruiter that I wanted to work on a strategy focused project within the retail sector and they delivered exactly what I asked for.

My client for the summer is a 60-billion-dollar department store and we are helping them launch their digital product creation program.  Instead of having physical clothing samples that are shipped around the world, everything will be created digitally.  It’s actually pretty cool to see a designer’s sketch of a hoodie turned into a 3D creation that looks realistic.

The hardest part of my summer has been to integrate with teams that I haven’t met in person.  My team is close knit and they have built strong relationships with our clients.  It took me a little bit of time to figure out how to best communicate with my team and what unspoken standards existed for deliverables.  I looked at these obstacles as a learning opportunity.  I pushed myself out of my comfort zone to speak up when I was confused, set up virtual one-on-ones to ask questions, and attend zoom happy hours to network with my colleagues.

I’ve been given several different parts of our project to own and have had considerable face to face time with our clients.  I’ve been pleasantly surprised with the amount of trust my team has in me to execute different tasks – I feel like a full-time employee on our team.  I’ve also been able to be involved in different internal initiatives such as the launch of a new Employee Resource Group and the creation of a recruiting strategy for diverse candidates.

Working remotely was not the vision I had for my summer, but I consider myself blessed to have still had a full 12-week internship experience.  Since I am at home all day long, I’ve had to develop new routines to keep myself focused such as having a dedicated workout schedule, an organized workspace, and a planned-out to-do list for the day.  Although I was looking forward to traveling this summer and racking up the loyalty points, working virtually gives me a glimpse into potential post-COVID changes in the consulting industry.  I think the future consultant lifestyle will still include a significant amount of travel, but there will definitely be more opportunities to work virtually.

I am excited to get back to Stern this fall and hear about the experiences my classmates have had at other consulting firms.  This summer is not what we were expecting, but I know my fellow Sternies have done their best to make lemonade out of lemons.  This summer has given me more perspective as to what I want to do post-MBA and I plan to spend my last year at Stern taking advantage of every opportunity that comes my way.

Summer Internship Series: Acumen

Rizwana Iqbal is a rising MBA2. Prior to Stern, she was working with the Government of India to develop the national healthcare innovation commercialization ecosystem. She is a technology enthusiast by profession and singer by heart. Bookworm, fitness freak, self-confessed foodie (and cook!). An explorer and an incurable dreamer!

NYU Stern’s “Summer Internship Series” sheds lights into Sternies’ internships. Posts are written by rising MBA2s who are currently working at their summer internship.

Despite the impact of coronavirus, I got the opportunity to pursue my summer internship in the company I had my heart set on – Acumen, a global nonprofit that is changing the way the world tackles poverty by investing in sustainable businesses, leaders, and ideas. Given my background in technology and finance, I felt like impact investing was the best articulation of my skills, a platform which would enable me to create impact, while harnessing my strengths. Thanks to SternWorks and Yassin Choye from Acumen, I secured my internship with the Office of the Chief Investment Officer at Acumen. This global team supports Acumen’s portfolio across regions. Acumen focuses heavily on post-investment support for portfolio companies, which the company calls “accompaniment.” As part of my summer internship, I focused on how to refine Acumen’s value proposition for accompaniment across Africa, India, Latin America, and the United States.

While I have always enjoyed solving business problems, two classes at Stern really helped me perform well during my internship. Prof Marcinao’s strategy class taught me to think through problems in small steps and build towards an eventual solution. Her “high weight high variance” strategy is the mantra of my life. The implementation of my summer project needed behavioral change within the organization. This is where Prof Joe Magee’s leadership lectures helped me. I spent the ten weeks trying to understand the employees and the problems they faced and, hence, was able to eventually suggest a solution that could have the requisite results with minimal input, while shifting the organization towards a more data-driven culture. The skills of listening, negotiating and securing buy-in for new ideas, all of which we had touched upon in lectures, helped me turn my summer into a successful one.

The Acumen team that I worked with over summer provided me with an incomparable experience. The internship delivered on all the promises that I expected from an organization like Acumen. Acumen has strong, powerful women in most of the leadership positions and the culture is one of empathy, a place where you can bring your true self and your truth to work. My mentor ensured that although I was working remotely, I felt like I was an important part of the team. He introduced me to my team, the global teams and the leadership. Every Friday, we would have water-cooler meetings, where we would answer questions from a chat pack, discuss Jacqueline Novogratz’s book “Manifesto for  a Moral Revolution” and talk about current issues. These meetings allowed me to know the team and allowed them to understand me. We all shared our life stories and it created a beautiful bond of trust within the team. My direct manager was brilliant. She was confident and secure in her work. She allowed me to be creative, helped me when I needed guidance, and always made me feel heard.

While I am sad that the summer is over, I am also grateful that even amidst the challenges posed by coronavirus and remote working, my team made the effort to ensure that I always felt included and got the most out of my experience.

Summer Internship Series: Facebook

Michael Graf is a rising MBA2. Prior to Stern, he worked at J.P. Morgan Chase as a Reputation Risk Associate. This fall, he will be serve as the Co-President of OutClass, an Orientation Leader, a Leadership Fellow, and a Graduate Ambassador. Michael is working towards specializations in Strategy and Leadership & Change Management, and enjoys crossword puzzles, snowboarding, and reading historical fiction. 

NYU Stern’s “Summer Internship Series” sheds lights into Sternies’ internships. Posts are written by rising MBA2s who are currently working at their summer internship.

Today is my last day as an Integrity Program Manager at Facebook. While you might expect that I would be focused only on off-boarding and saying goodbyes, I am actually spending my last few hours in this role working closely with a data scientist to implement my summer project into our team’s product review process. 

My three months at Facebook have been rewarding because of the responsibilities my manager and team have entrusted me with. I was tasked with defining what Integrity ‘success’ looks like for product launches: essentially, asking how Facebook can measure the likelihood that a new product will allow for problematic content like spam, fake accounts, or abuse. More importantly, I was asked to define the effectiveness of our Integrity teams at reducing or mitigating the prevalence and effect of bad content. 

I was initially overwhelmed by the ambiguity of my project and the challenge of tackling something so huge while navigating a new industry and company. Facebook defines success as having impact, and without a background in tech, I wondered how I could present and execute innovative solutions in a few short weeks. I spent my first week furiously googling engineering and coding jargon to simply understand my coworkers. I also questioned my ability to design a solution that would be applicable to the variety of spaces that Facebook works in. How could I create a process that worked for Groups, Dating, Fundraisers, and Gaming? Facebook is a vast platform and risk presents itself in so many different ways.

While these dynamics were obstacles, I came to view them more as opportunities. The wide scope of my project gave me a foot in the door with integrity teams across Facebook. I met with and learned the pain points of teams tasked with protecting the user’s experience with ads, News Feed, and Stories, among many others. I turned these diverse relationships into a working group to receive weekly feedback on my idea for a comprehensive risk assessment for teams across the company. Additionally, I leveraged my background in risk management to recommend additional use cases for the risk assessment, including identifying integrity gaps, surfacing high risk product launches, and tracking risk reduction. This framing helped my project land with leadership and connected my work to our team level efficiency goal for the year.

I also drew from my coursework at Stern to drive home my initiative and the quality of my work product. I recall hearing Professor Pettit’s voice in my head during a team-wide meeting my first week, “Don’t wait to lead,” as I built up the confidence to share my opinion on the value of risk quantification. I knew from his class, Leadership in Organizations, that leadership can be achieved at any level. By highlighting the value of risk quantification in comparison to the team’s status quo (even in my first week!), I built credibility and inspired my teammates to believe in the value of my project. I am grateful to Stern for equipping me with a toolkit to approach a challenging project in a new industry with confidence.

With the incredible support of my team and engagement from cross-functional partners, I designed a quantifiable risk assessment for all new end-user products on Facebook. My team of seventeen committed to adopting my plan, and I had the opportunity to pitch my solution to integrity teams across Instagram, Oculus, and Messenger. 

The combination of my coursework at Stern, my background in risk management, and my willingness to assert my ideas and ask for feedback enabled me to execute my ambitious project plan. I am thankful to my colleagues for giving me runway to explore a huge challenge for the company and believing in my ability to make an impact.

 

Summer Internship Series: Boston Consulting Group

Emily Glaser is a rising MBA2. Prior to Stern, she spent four years at Restaurant Brands International in communications and marketing for the Burger King brand. At Stern, Emily serves on Student Government and the Graduate Marketing Association. She loves dogs, musical theater, and hiking.

NYU Stern’s “Summer Internship Series” sheds lights into Sternies’ internships. Posts are written by rising MBA2s who are currently working at their summer internship.

This summer, I’m interning at BCG as a Summer Consultant. And that is a sentence I never expected for myself.

When I came to Stern, I was intending to recruit for brand management at a traditional CPG company. My background was in marketing at a fast food chain, and I was interested in continuing to grow my skillset as a marketer. But throughout the fall semester at Stern, I learned about the mysterious world of consulting and found work that truly interested me. I decided to challenge myself and took a leap of faith into a completely new career path!

But what do consultants do? What do YOU do, Emily? Great questions, Mom.

At the base level, consultants find opportunities for improvement at companies across the world and build them a path forward. We help when clients are too close to an issue to see things clearly or too busy driving the bus to fix the exhaust and carburetor at the same time. We’re problem solvers, guiding our clients hand-in-hand toward success.

And as for me specifically, this summer I’m staffed on an end-to-end transformation for a global personal care company. We want to help them listen to their customers better, interpret their needs, and efficiently deliver products that will improve their lives.

My portion of the case has been to analyze and improve the process they use to launch new products across their vast portfolio. I was incredibly nervous to come in as a new summer consultant and be given a topic to own from the first week – how should I know how they should launch personal care products? I only know about burgers and chicken nuggets! But the team has been incredibly helpful in guiding me through my research and analysis, and in only 5 weeks (so far) I’ve already learned an incredible amount. I’ve learned how to frame a high-level ambiguous problem and break it up into digestible questions that can be tackled individually. I’ve developed insights that spurred meaningful discussions with the client about strategic change. And I’ve learned the humility to always ask questions when you feel unsure.

The advice I’d give to MBA1s or those applying for business school is to always be open to learning. You may come to Stern knowing exactly what you want to be, but that can be upended in a moment. And that’s a good thing. There may end up being several different career paths to help you achieve your goals. You may even find new paths and opportunities that excite you! Being open to new paths led me to BCG, which has been one of my greatest learning experiences thus far. I’ll be returning full-time after graduation, and my goal throughout my career here is to always be open to listening and learning.

Summer Internship Series: Amazon

Asad Farooqi is a rising MBA2 and is interning over the summer as a Product Manager at Amazon. He serves as Co-President of the South Asian Business Association at Stern (SABAS), and holds leadership positions in the Arts, Culture, Cuisine (ACC) and CannaBusiness clubs. He is specializing in Strategy and Product Management and hopes to continue working in tech after Stern.

NYU Stern’s “Summer Internship Series” sheds lights into Sternies’ internships. Posts are written by rising MBA2s who are currently working at their summer internship.

After a busy but extremely fun and memorable first year at Stern, this was supposed to be the dream summer in Seattle. Instead, I am writing to you from my apartment in NY, out of which I have been rolling out of bed and onto my desk to ‘dive deep’ at Amazon over the last five weeks. Even with a remote start to the internship experience, this has been one of the most educational and fascinating work experiences I have had to date. After slowly adjusting to a completely new way of work vis-à-vis COVID-19, it has been interesting to spend most of the day having unfettered focus for my assigned projects. It gives me a lot of time to really reflect and apply all the little nuggets of wisdom that I have gathered from Stern and my previous work experiences and leverage them in the work I do on a daily basis.

As a PM working with the Amazon Renewed team (refurbished items), it is my responsibility to evaluate performance metrics that measure the quality of products, and determine composite metrics that can capture a wider extent of the customer experience. This involves getting into the details of what constitutes an ideal customer experience and working backwards to determine how much of that experience can be quantified and captured to uncover ways to drive improvements in quality. Working through such a project requires interacting with multiple stakeholders across Amazon, as well as learning how to leverage data analytic tools and business processes to answer questions more effectively.

My experience at Stern has given me a more robust understanding of fundamental business concepts like statistics and strategy and has also taught me to become a better leader and take ownership of my work. The project scope was the only thing communicated to me at the beginning of the internship, along with a note that “we’re looking forward to your leadership over the summer.” Having taken some invaluable courses over the last two semesters, I felt fully prepared to work through the uncertainty and uncover interesting insights along the way. Some days are long, and some are longer. I did not realize how quickly day turns to night when you’re sitting in your room and working away, but that is also a testament to the engaging nature of the work itself. There is always that ‘a-ha!’ moment during the week, when you’ve figured out a particularly challenging roadblock, and that usually serves as motivation to keep on thinking about the work for the rest of the day.

There is still time left in the summer for a bit of rest and relaxation before the semester begins again. With NY having gone through the worst of the crisis (fingers crossed), we are all looking forward to being able to convene in-person soon. The sense of community has not diminished during all this time. All of us are constantly in touch, sharing our summer experiences and joking around as much as we can since we are all excited about returning to campus in any capacity in the Fall. We hope to see you all here soon, and please do feel free to reach out with any questions that you might have about Amazon, recruitment, Stern, NY, or anything about business school in general.

Summer Internship Series: Apple

 Najma Yakob is a rising MBA2 and is an Operations Product Development Intern at Apple. Najma serves as the Co-President of Stern Women in Business and as an Orientation Leader and Career Mentor. She is specializing in Business Analytics, Strategy, and Sustainable Business and Innovation.

NYU Stern’s “Summer Internship Series” sheds lights into Sternies’ internships. Posts are written by rising MBA2s who are currently working at their summer internship.

I’m halfway into my virtual summer internship with Apple and I can confidently say that I did not expect to be here a year ago. I’m on the Operations Product Development team and my focus for the summer is on scaling Apple’s current efforts to transition its manufacturing supply chain to 100% renewable energy.

Prior to Stern, I worked at a small tech company focused on renewable energy, and then in consulting helping electric utilities buy and sell renewable energy. I knew early on that I wanted to go back to the tech industry because I loved the culture and I enjoyed working on dynamic teams with flat reporting structures. As a result, I was lucky to secure a role that capitalized on my prior experience as most tech companies prefer to recruit individuals who can quickly contribute to their role.

The most surprising thing about my internship so far, the virtual part notwithstanding, is how much I do feel like I’m part of the team. I’d never worked with MBA interns before so I wasn’t sure whether I would own a few transactional tasks but for the most part be relegated to the background. To my pleasant surprise, I’ve been given direct ownership of some high visibility initiatives the team is working on and although this has raised the stakes for me, it’s also been gratifying to feel like I’m working on something that actually matters. I’ve been lucky to be placed in a small and somewhat specialized team which has allowed them to give me support and attention that would not be possible in a larger team. All in all, I’m really enjoying my experience and am looking forward to what the next few weeks will bring.

Regarding the virtual experience, it’s definitely easy to get caught up in what could have been and the unrealized dreams I had of a summer in the Bay Area getting to know my fellow interns and experiencing the west coast. Doing the internship from the comfort of my Brooklyn apartment has been both easier and harder than I initially anticipated. On the one hand, I’ve been more readily able to channel the confidence and experience I’ve gained in just my first year in the MBA. Certain tasks that I would have been unsure about prior to Stern feel easier and more achievable. On the other hand, it’s been more work than I would have expected to put myself out there in order to make connections and get things done. Where I would have more easily met people in passing in the hallways or during social events, it’s been a valuable learning experience to proactively invest time and effort into remotely meeting new people.

For those unsure about what next summer or even what the next year will look like, I can confidently say that I’ve developed a deeper ability to be patient and take each day as it comes this year. As a planner, it’s been frustrating and sometimes heartbreaking to let go of the big ideas I had for my time in business school. However, I’ve also learned to be grateful for the fantastic experiences I’ve had and the great connections I’ve been able to make with my classmates and my co-workers. I highly recommend keeping an open mind and being as flexible as possible. I often reflect on the fact that a career is a journey and each moment, whether positive or negative, is building towards a bigger picture that we can’t yet see. Believe in yourself and hold on to the idea that everything will work out as it should!

Summer Internship Series: Gratitude Railroad

Kathleen Dillon is a rising MBA2 at Stern. Prior to business school, she spent six years as an officer in the Coast Guard and two years working for the New York Mets. At Stern, she serves on the board of the Military Veterans Club and  the Management Consulting Association. Her academic specializations are Global Business and Business Analytics.

NYU Stern’s “Summer Internship Series” sheds lights into Sternies’ internships. Posts are written by rising MBA2s who are currently working at their summer internship.

I’m really enjoying my internship experience so far although it was a bit of a roller coaster to get here. Back in mid-March, I accepted a strategy-focused internship offer with the Philadelphia Flyers. Unfortunately, after the NHL season was suspended due to COVID-19, the Flyers had to cancel their internship program. All that to say that as Stern’s school year came to a close, I was still looking for an internship.

In response to the devastating impacts of COVID-19 throughout the country, Stern created a summer internship program called “SternWorks”. The program was created to give students the opportunity to take on projects with companies, non-profit organizations, and government agencies negatively impacted by the coronavirus. Through SternWorks, I was accepted into a 10-week internship program with Gratitude Railroad, a venture capital and impact investing firm.

Gratitude Railroad’s venture capital arm focuses on investing in startups that are tackling some of society’s most difficult issues. I’ve had the opportunity to do due diligence for potential investments in companies focused on food waste reduction, clean energy, and childhood education. Not only has interacting with these entrepreneurs been incredibly inspiring, but it has also been deeply informative. I was in the military prior to Stern and have very little business experience, so having the opportunity to be exposed to so many different markets and industries has been a huge opportunity for me.

In addition to assisting Gratitude Railroad’s investment team, I’ve also been working with the organization’s Head of Strategic Initiatives on various strategy-focused projects including website revamping, community outreach, and multiple internal process improvements. Despite my internship being virtual, I’ve become close to the others on my team and have had a fantastic experience so far. And it’s only half over!

Please feel free to reach out to me anytime — my email is kathleen.dillon@nyu.edu. I’m happy to answer any questions you have about life at Stern!

Summer Internship Series: EY

Gage Kaefring is a rising MBA2 and is spending the summer with the Project Portfolio Management consulting team at EY (formerly Ernst & Young). At Stern, Gage serves as the co-president of OutClass, the LGBTQ student group on campus, and as the VP of Marketing for Stern Chats, the Stern podcast. He is specializing in Leadership, Strategy, and 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.

The first thing I think about when I reflect back on my summer internship experience was just how quickly the time passed.  My internship as a consultant in the New York office at EY was initially full of the ups and downs one would expect from starting any new job. The conclusion however, would be a dramatic demonstration of the trials consultants are often forced to confront.

As part of their summer internship, EY includes an industry research component in which teams present to senior partners on the best strategy for EY to maintain and grow a specific client relationship. My team selected a media company from the Technology, Media, and Telecomm (TMT) space and got to work — researching the industry and building a solid presentation — on top of our required client work. The presentation would be given to a group of partners at an all-day event in Chicago at the conclusion of the internship.

When the time to present arrived, I was set to travel from my client in New Jersey to Chicago the day before, and would meet the rest of my team in-person for the first time to run through our presentation. The weather had other plans. Severe thunderstorms struck the New York area in the early afternoon and, at the urging of my team, I proactively switched my flight to depart at 6 AM the next morning, the same flight booked by one of my other team members. The two of us would still arrive with plenty of time to rehearse with the rest of the team that afternoon. It turned out to be the right move as the thunderstorms only grew worse and my original flight ended up being cancelled hours after I made the switch.

I awoke at 4 AM the next morning feeling confident in my maneuvering to secure a perfectly timed flight despite the inclement weather. This confidence was dashed around 4:50 AM when I received an email from the teammate traveling with me and another from the airline shortly after, informing me that this flight too had been cancelled with no specified reason. I arrived at the airport shortly after my coworker finished speaking with a gate agent. Apparently all flights out of the New York area airports had been cancelled until Sunday.

We were at a loss trying to determine how we were going to make the presentation. Thinking fast, I realized the only way was to book a flight from Philadelphia. There happened to be one that would put us in Chicago without any time to spare so, lacking options, we booked it. After a three hour Lyft ride and a hurried airport breakfast, we boarded and landed in Chicago a mere hour before we were scheduled to present. We hurried through O’Hare and secured another Lyft. Our team was frantically texting us both and preparing for the possibility that we wouldn’t make it in time.

We very nearly didn’t. It was a race against time from the airport to the event space EY had rented for the day. We arrived with seconds to spare and were ushered with our team on-stage. The only review we had done was on the airplane and in the Lyft. But standing on stage, in front of four, stern-faced partners, it all seemed to click. Our presentation flowed and each team member fielded the judges’ questions with poise.

At the end of our presentation we sat down, sharing congratulations at successfully getting through a presentation we were thrown into without any preparation. Much to the surprise of each and every member of our team, our presentation was recognized as one of the best-in-class. The whole experience served as a perfect parable for the entire consulting experience: a group of dedicated people battling fate and the elements to deliver for their clients.

Summer Internship Series: Mars

Emily Barry is a rising MBA2 and just completed her summer internship on the brand management team at Mars. Emily is Co-President of Stern’s Graduate Marketing Association, VP of Communications for Stern Student Government, and VP of International Treks for the Arts, Culture, and Cuisine Club. She is specializing in marketing and strategy. 

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 hard to believe how quickly the summer has flown by; I just wrapped up a great internship on the brand management team at Mars. Being a total career switcher (my previous role was in residential real estate sales here in NYC), I admit that I was somewhat apprehensive about my foray into marketing, but I’m happy to report that my time at Mars was an incredible learning experience from start to finish. 

I was very excited about the possibility of working at Mars ever since they first came to campus last fall; they have such an incredible portfolio of brands, and the tight-knit community really appealed to me. I had a great time getting to know several Mars associates throughout the recruitment process, and I was so excited to be invited to join the team for the summer. My internship began in early June with an email welcoming me to the Twix team; I remember being thrilled by the prospect of working on one of my favorite bars, and couldn’t wait to see what projects I’d be tackling over the next few months. We had a quick orientation, and then we were off!

My first project involved working with Mars’s advertising agency to redesign the Twix.com website; the site was a bit outdated and confusing, so the goal was the streamline the platform to ensure an easy and consistent user experience. I researched what best-in-class CPG websites look and function like, and briefed the agency on how Twix’s site should be revised. Over the next few weeks, the agency and I went back and forth on design drafts, eventually aligning with the broader Twix team on a site that should be up and running in the next few weeks.

My second project was a competitive analysis of Butterfinger’s recent reformulation and relaunch of their original bar. The filled bar team at Mars wanted to know why Butterfinger decided to relaunch the bar, what steps they took to execute the launch, and what the results were. To answer those questions, I analyzed Nielsen data on Butterfinger’s performance pre- and post-relaunch, and synthesized those learnings into a presentation for the filled bar team. 

My capstone strategic project, which took up the majority of the summer, was developing a growth strategy for Twix & Snickers future consumption products (the large bags of fun-size candy that you buy in-aisle, as opposed to the standard bars at the front of the store). I met with Mars associates, analyzed Nielsen data, and worked with various cross-functional partners (packaging, consumer insights, R&D, social media, etc.), to come up with a few key recommendations for growing FC sales, and presented my findings to the Mars marketing leadership team at the end of the summer. 

What stood out to me throughout the entire process was how engaged everyone was with the work I was doing; it was very clear to me that I was looking at real, substantive business issues as opposed to just doing busy work. The community of associates was so helpful, and incredibly generous with their time and insights. I am so thankful to have had such a great internship experience, and am excited to see how everything I’ve learned ties into my second year of school. To any MBA1s reading this who may have questions about Mars, brand management, or anything at all, please don’t hesitate to reach out — I look forward to meeting many of you in just a few weeks!