Summer Internship Series: Cause Strategy Partners & SIIF

Connie Meltzer is a rising MBA2 and a Graduate Fellow at Cause Strategy Partners. Connie serves as the Co-Chair of the Diversity Committee for Student Government and VP of Allies for the Association of Hispanic and Black Business Students (AHBBS). She is specializing in Leadership and Change Management 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.

I found out about the Social Impact Internship Fund (SIIF) fellowship through the Office of Student Engagement pretty early into the fall semester and knew it would be a good fit for me. SIIF helps fund MBAs who want to work at a social good organization (impact investing firms, solar energy companies, nonprofit organizations, and more) for their summer internship and beyond. Since I am interested in nonprofit consulting in the future, I ended up participating in traditional management consulting preparation, recruitment, and interviews, but didn’t land a summer internship at the firms I interviewed with. And to be honest, I couldn’t be happier.

I spent most of my career prior to Stern working for education nonprofit organizations, but I wanted an opportunity to still work for social good but not at a nonprofit. In the Spring, I started scouring Career Account, Stern’s career portal, for anything in the social good sector. After sifting through amazing opportunities that weren’t a good fit for me, I found the Cause Strategy Partners Graduate Internship.

This summer, the SIIF Fellowship has allowed me to work at the intersection of nonprofit organizations and the corporate world. Cause Strategy Partners (CSP) is a benefit corporation (B-Corp) that through its signature program, BoardLead, matches Fortune 500 employees to nonprofit organizations to serve on their boards and trains them in how to be an impactful board member. CSP is a small company with fewer than 10 full time employees but they deliver a lot of high-quality work. Since their founding in 2015, they have placed over 400+ professionals on nonprofit boards in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Houston, Seattle, Washington D.C. and Philadelphia. And they have big plans – they are ramping up their signature program to 20+ cities in the next two years.

My three main projects for the summer are administering a program evaluation for a round of BoardLead in collaboration with another graduate fellow from NYU Wagner, designing and implementing an employee engagement and culture assessment for CSP, and consulting with two nonprofit clients around their board practices. I have been particularly proud of and challenged by my work on the employee engagement and culture assessment project.

One reason is that org culture and employee engagement are things I really care about in a workplace. Another is that I used a lot of takeaways, and even specific curriculum material, from my Leadership in Organizations course with Dolly Chugh. After a lot of research, I have sent out two surveys to the team to begin CSP’s employee engagement feedback practice and gain insight into how community members (current employees, former employees, and board members) understand the company culture. I was working as an “external” consultant for the company on this project, which I found both exciting and challenging. At Stern and in my other projects at CSP this summer, I’ve been able to ask for feedback and collaborate with other team members. With this project, since everyone I am working with was going to take this survey, I didn’t feel like I was able to collaborate as much; to maintain data integrity, I wanted to ensure everyone was seeing the questions for the first time when they took the survey. As I look to my future career opportunities, I definitely want to work in a collaborative environment and on a team where feedback is encouraged – as it is at CSP with my other projects!

Cause Strategy Partners has a history of including summer interns right into the heart of the family this summer is no exception. We eat lunch together in the park regularly, we have participated in bake-offs, and we attended a panel on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the Boardroom at the Ford Foundation (pictured) with most of the team at the time. I’ve learned so much in the first half of my internship at CSP and I’m looking forward to the next four weeks.

Summer Internship Series: PricewaterhouseCoopers

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!

Summer Internship Series: Citi

Mahssa Mostajabi is a rising MBA2 and an intern on the US Consumer Digital team at Citi. Mahssa serves as the VP of Admissions for AHBBS, President of InSITE, and a host of Stern Chats. She is specializing in Business Analytics, Luxury Marketing, and Sustainable Business and Innovation.

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.

Upon starting at NYU last fall, I wasn’t entirely sure what path I’d take during recruiting or in which industry I’d end up. Prior to Stern, I worked in non-profits for a short time and then had a career in tech as a product manager for a few years. In my application, I wrote about wanting to marry those two fields – nonprofits and tech – by working in corporate social responsibility for a large tech company (think Google.org). And, upon getting to campus, I was somewhat swept up by the consulting rush like many of my classmates. I also had a totally unrelated interest in luxury retail. As such, there were endless possibilities. I could become a consultant, transition into social impact or the luxury space, stay in tech and product management, or some combination therein.

To manage these endless options, I took a path similar to many Sternies and tried a little bit of everything. I went through the casing bootcamp the Management Consulting Association puts on each fall. I attended knowledge management sessions hosted by the Luxury Retail club and the Stern Technology Association. I went on treks to Google and Flatiron Health. I became the AVP of Sourcing for InSITE Fellows, an organization that pairs graduate students across New York City with startup consulting projects. I joined 8 professional clubs on campus and I applied to 40+ summer internships. Needless to say, I was a little lost. But, unlike some of my peers who came to campus knowing the exact function or industry into which they wanted to transition, I came to campus knowing that I wanted to explore and try on a lot of different roles and industries to see which one I liked best.

Ultimately, I decided that I wanted to stay in tech and product management with a special focus on startups in the health, beauty, and wellness space. While I spent a lot of my year networking and making connections at these companies, I quickly realized that a summer internship would be difficult to land. Many of them don’t have traditional MBA internship programs and trying to get something ad hoc off the ground would require perfect timing and lots of luck. I still tried, but didn’t find a lot of success. In parallel, I applied to large tech and financial services companies, as I’d previously worked in FinTech. I had some more luck here and got some interviews. Through this process, I chose Citi’s Summer Management Associate program, in which MBAs are matched with a team within the company and, if they come back full-time, rotate onto two more teams before finding a VP role.

In my current internship at Citi, I work as a product manager within US Consumer Digital on our Digital Wallets team, which manages Citi’s tech and partnerships with ApplePay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay, and Paypal. The role allowed me to stay in tech and in product management with a large, reputable company, while rounding out my knowledge of payments and growing my expertise in FinTech and financial services. While I’m still not sure where I’d like to focus long-term, this role was strategic for me in that New York’s startup environment has a large FinTech base and, with my experience at multiple small and large financial services companies, I know I’ll be able to position myself well no matter what I choose or where I go within tech, Citi or otherwise.

My path may have been a somewhat undirected and perhaps unideal, but I really enjoyed it and would do it again! We all have different goals for our MBAs. I wanted to be confident that I’d found the career I wanted to be in long-term – product management in tech – and I now have that confidence wholeheartedly. I just had to try on a few other functions and industries before knowing for sure.

Summer Internship Series: Reckitt Benckiser

Sarang Bhawalkar is a rising MBA2 interning at Reckitt Benckiser.  Sarang is specializing in Marketing and Strategy and is the co-president of the Graduate Marketing Association, VP of Finance (Luxury and Retail Club), and VP of Social Events (OutClass).

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.

I cannot believe my summer internship is over already. The past ten weeks have flown by so quickly! I am currently on vacation and writing this from the comfort of my family home in Mumbai, India. This past year at Stern has been a crazy ride capped by my internship and it all has been worth it. Prior to Stern, I used to be a research scientist in the building materials industry and worked in product development for six years. I have a PhD in Polymer Science and it often takes people by surprise when I mention it. I was very good at what I did, but I was interested in working in a more fast-paced industry and in a consumer-facing brand manager role which made me decide to go to business school.

Over the summer, I interned as an Assistant Brand Manager intern at Reckitt Benckiser and worked on a small personal care brand. My objective was to reposition the brand for the sports space and target serious and recreational athletes. I had to develop a go-to market strategy to relaunch the brand in 2019 and develop a three-year strategy to grow the brand through product innovation. Usually for bigger brands, interns get to work on one of three parts of the marketing strategy – Equity (Brand messaging and recognition), Activation (implementing brand interaction in the market) or Innovation (Product pipeline that serves to grow the brand). Since the brand I was working on was a much smaller brand, my project touched all three and gave me significant insight into different aspects of managing a brand. I also had to be very scrappy with research since we had a very small budget. I reached out to as many people as I could to do market research and conducted focus groups to understand the target consumer and their shopping habits. Doing all of this was very new to me, but I felt a certain excitement that I had never felt in any of my previous roles – a major indicator to me that this was something I was truly passionate about and it motivated me to do my job better. I had always heard about the hub and spoke model with brand managers being the center of the wheel with the different spokes representing the different functions, and this internship was no different. I had to lead several cross-functional meetings to get consensus on many key aspects of the brand such as distribution, P&L and claims. We also had limited R&D support, so I got to put on my old R&D hat on for developing an innovation strategy for the brand. Reckitt Benckiser has a very fast-paced and entrepreneurial culture, but I had the nicest manager who was very patient with me and helped me understand the business. Everyone that I spoke to always took the time to guide me and I never felt like I did not have the support that I needed. One of the coolest things I got to do was the change the packaging for the brand. I worked with a design agency and I had to give them a brief to come up with a design that would appeal to the new target consumer. After several iterations, we came up with a few design options that we tested on a consumer platform. This helped me make a recommendation for the new packaging. It will be very exciting to see a product on the shelf in 2019 that I helped design the packaging for.

interns on the Hudson
With other interns at a marketing offsite on a boat on the Hudson.

In my essay for Stern, I was very clear that I wanted to be a brand manager and I am grateful that I got a chance to try it out for the summer. I really enjoyed it and I look forward to that being my full-time job after I graduate in 2019. However, a lot of students in my class are not completely sure that their summer internship was their calling, and they will explore other options in the Fall – which is perfectly okay. The internship is a two-way interview – both you and your employer are looking for a fit. If it doesn’t work out, you both move on. It is a great way to explore a different career path and I am glad to have found my calling through it.

Summer Internship Series: Colgate-Palmolive

Catherine Charles is a rising MBA2 interning at Colgate-Palmolive. Catherine is specializing in Marketing, Business Analytics, and Product Management. She is VP of Corporate Relations for the Graduate Marketing Association, VP of Alumni Relations for the Association of Hispanic & Black Business Students, and VP of Alumni Relations for SGOV.

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.

With classes starting in less than 3 weeks, recruiting is likely top of mind for most first-year MBAs. Part of the MBA experience is not only adjusting to life as a student, but also as a job seeker who is looking to pivot to a new industry, function, and/or geography. Below are three tips (other than updating your resume) to help you prepare for the recruiting season before you arrive on campus.

1. Make a list of the skills you would like to build during your career.

When you start school, you will be exposed to career paths that you didn’t know existed, and there will be a multitude of resources to learn even more about opportunities that interest you. Before your schedule is packed with attending corporate presentations and events, start reflecting on the capabilities you would like to develop over the course of your career and your areas of strength. Do you thrive in cross-functional roles or do you make the greatest impact as an individual contributor?  Would you like to eventually manage several large teams within a firm or be responsible for external relationships? Knowing the answers to these types of questions can help you choose which function(s) offer the training ground for the skills you would like to hone.

2. Read, Read, and check out Youtube!

Whether you already know your ideal internship or you are still figuring it out, read as much as you can. Find professional publications associated with the industries/functions that interest you and make it a habit to read those publications regularly. Google Alerts are also a great way to stay abreast of any trends that could be the subject of technical questions during an interview. In addition, many industries/functions have “must-read” books that can not only prepare you for interviews but give you the appropriate vocabulary to answer questions.

To supplement all of your reading efforts, search for Youtube videos that showcase interviews of the top professionals in your chosen field and spend some time on the career page of companies you are interested in. The interviews typically include the best practices of thought leaders and the Youtube career pages of companies help illustrate the types of candidates a firm is looking to hire.

3. Leverage your Network & Schedule Informational Interviews

There is no need to wait until you are on campus to start informational interviews. Leverage your network to reach out to individuals who are building the capabilities/skills you are interesting in developing. These initial informational interviews (also known as “Coffee Chats” in business school) before the semester starts will help you develop much more nuanced and insightful questions for the Coffee Chats you will have once you arrive on campus.

The three tips outlined above are suggestions to help you ease into an exciting, albeit busy, aspect of the MBA experience. They will also help you stay focused when the prestige or “cool” factor of certain firms or roles begin to dominate your recruiting strategy. I wish you the best of luck.

colleagues at internship
Pictured left to right: Summer 2018 NYU Stern GMDP (Global Marketing Development Program) Interns at Colgate-Palmolive (Catherine Charles, Kimberly Tai, Ayesha Mehra)

Summer Internship Series: LOLI Beauty

Richa Deshpande is a rising MBA2 interning at LOLI Beauty.  Richa is specializing in Marketing, Luxury Marketing and Management and is VP of Admissions (Luxury Retail club), VP of Events (Stern Chats), VP of SIFF (SISA). 

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.

This summer I was a marketing intern at a personal care brand called LOLI Beauty. LOLI Beauty is a direct to consumer, ecommerce led superfood organic approach to skincare. I was particularly attracted to LOLI Beauty given its tech focus and plans to win in the direct to consumer space.

Prior to Stern, I was a Management Consultant in Australia and whilst it was a great foundational start to my career, I wanted to transition into an industry (Beauty/Fashion) which was more personally relevant to me and a function which was more customer focused (Marketing).

Therefore, I knew coming into business school, my recruiting would be non-traditional. In addition, as an international student, finding fashion/beauty companies willing to sponsor was a little more difficult. Whilst not always easy, knowing what I know now, I have absolutely no regrets about my decision to come to Stern and pursue a Marketing role at a Fashion/Beauty company.

Here are three lessons I want to pass on to anyone thinking about pursuing a similar path.

It can be difficult not to take the path well-trodden, but totally worth it

I still remember what a classmate said to me as we tried to navigate the perils of Spring recruiting;  ‘We didn’t come to business school to do what everyone is doing, we came to pursue what we wanted to do’. Business school is such a great opportunity to pursue a different career path, it would be unfair to yourself to not pursue your dream. In the Spring it can feel like all your friends have their internships sorted, but remember you are not alone – there are still so many people in the same position as you. Lean on each other for support and guidance. I am so happy I stuck to my goals of what I wanted to recruit for. I know I wouldn’t have enjoyed my summer internship as much had I done what everyone else was doing.

loli beauty bar
Sternies out in full support at a beauty blending bar we hosted

Start-ups really need the structure and frameworks we are taught in business school

Start-ups almost always have more work than people to support the work. Therefore, the environments can often seem chaotic and disorganized. This is where all the frameworks we are taught in our MBA are really useful and really valued. This summer I have helped to develop the marketing plan (using 4Ps), develop the overall firm strategy (thanks Prof. Marciano) and have even deployed some of the people management frameworks from Leadership in Organizations. In developing these strategies, I have seen the value of what I have learnt in the classroom and it has been very exciting to bring it to workplace.

Start-ups are a great place to flex your skills

Although this summer I was hired as a Marketing intern responsible for building the data analytics capability, I have also had the opportunity to be a product manager, brand strategist, and project manager. I have learnt so much from wearing these multiple hats and this is only possible in a start-up. I now have a more well -rounded skillset and have a clearer idea of which types of roles I would enjoy.

In conclusion, I have really enjoyed my summer internship, so much so that I am considering staying on in the Fall. Don’t forget to enjoy this period in your life – such a rare opportunity you get to try something for three months!

Glossy forum
Was fortunate enough to attend the Glossy Forum – an all-day beauty conference featuring speakers from Allure magazine, Glossier, Supergoop, Glow Recipe, Beautycounter and Rodan + Fields

Summer Internship Series: Ernst & Young

Anthony Russ is a rising MBA2 interning at Ernst & Young. Anthony is specializing in Business Analytics, Management of Technology & Operations, 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.

 

 

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.

Anthony at summer internship outing
An after-work outing with EY colleagues.

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.

Summer Internship Series: IBM

Adam Shapiro is a rising MBA2 interning at IBM. Adam is specializing in Strategy, Finance, and Entrepreneurship.

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.

 

As I first began considering an MBA, my professional goals and ambitions were very clear: I wanted to transition into the strategy consulting industry.  I wanted to pursue a career in consulting so that I could continue to work with clients to solve their most complex questions, issues, and problems.  Prior to beginning my MBA at Stern, I worked for Bloomberg in an Internal Strategy capacity.  During my five years there, I worked with financial clients ranging from CEOs to members of HR to manage and solve sophisticated and demanding problems firms face. In doing so, I came to value and embody certain qualities that I believe make the best business leaders: the ability to take initiative, to lead others successfully, to follow through on commitments, and to achieve objectives in a timely fashion. Equally important, I also gained an innate curiosity, a desire and need to learn, and an ability to ask thoughtful questions, listen to and respect others, and understand the complexity of challenges facing businesses. All of these qualities are personified by people working on consulting engagements. I believed that the consulting industry would advance my personal and career development by working with clients to create a lasting business impact, to craft actionable business plans, and to target opportunities for growth.

When I actually began my MBA a little over one year ago, I began recruiting for a summer internship in consulting as early as Stern’s Office of Career Development (OCD) allowed the firms to come to campus.  As I listened to corporate presentations and engaged with practitioners at the different firms, I began to have a better understanding of the differences amongst the firms and, if given the choice, the type of client engagements I wanted to work on during the summer.  The combination of my past work experience in Fintech at Bloomberg, countless conversations with current students, Stern alumni, and consultants, and classes I was taking allowed me to realize I actually wanted to work at a firm with a significant digital presence.

It is hard to believe, but I am, now, over halfway through my summer internship at IBM in the Digital Strategy and iX consulting group.  IBM DS appealed to me because of the group’s unique value proposition.  IBM combines traditional strategic analysis with creative ideation to uncover non-linear opportunities and direct opportunities for clients.  By designing progressive digital strategies through innovation and data analytics, creating future-shaping experience through design, and putting customer platforms to work, I have been able to learn important skills and add value on client engagements throughout the entire summer internship.  I could not have imagined a better summer experience as I have already been able to work on projects such as: reinventing the customer experience journey for a large travel and leisure company, infusing digital into multiple portfolio companies of a large private equity firm, and creating a roadmap for increased data utilization and monetization at a large asset management firm.

My time at IBM this summer has taught me a lot and I’m thrilled that I am exploring this career path.  If you’re considering making a change to enter consulting, from where I sit, Stern is a great place for you to make it happen.

Summer Internship Series: Mastercard

Jasmine Reliford is a rising MBA2 interning at Mastercard this summer. She is a Consortium Fellow, serves on the Community Service Committee within Stern Student Government (SGov), and is the VP of Admissions for the Social Impact and Sustainability Association (SISA) and the VP of Corporate Relations for the Association of Hispanic and Black Business Students (AHBBS).

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.

Once a Girl Scout, Always a Girl Scout

For as long as I can remember, I have been driven by the force to do “good”. This drive comes from my 12 years as a Girl Scout—there are stories my mom could tell you of kindergarten Jasmine boxing up her Christmas gifts and birthday presents to donate them to the children’s hospital or the homeless shelter (a tendency that I continue to this day). This innate drive to change the world around me is all consuming, yet has evolved over time. I have become more sophisticated and tactical in how I hope to enact change in the world.

It is estimated that it will cost up to $70 Trillion to achieve the Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs) set by the UN.  The capital throughout the private and government sector far surpasses that of the social sector. A social impact person going to a top finance program always results in a “oh that’s interesting…” from those who do not understand the ethos of Stern or how businesses are evolving.

Learning How to Disrupt the Social Impact Business Models

In my Stern application, I spoke of the allocation of capital and how it effects mobility out of poverty, access to healthcare and education, and so many more other causes I am passionate about. The landscape of how players are engaging with the communities they operate in is changing; defining CSR initiatives such that they are integrated into bottom line results is top of mind for a lot of corporations. Balancing altruism and monetization could be viewed as opposing philosophies, but learning how to meld them into a cohesive strategy is why I chose Stern.

A social mindset is instilled in you the first week of LAUNCH—former investment bankers, consultants, and marketers rally to determine a sustainable business solution that solves a societal need. This push to think creatively towards not only business issues but world issues is the embodiment of Stern. The products and business models that are emerging are shifting the way businesses, governments and society all come together to uplift every facet of humanity. When I see innovations such as Rent the Runway and Lyft, I see disruptors forcing their industries to move towards sustainable fashion and how to provide gig workers a way to engage in commerce in a way never done before. Stern is a space where ideas come together to create the future world around us.

Doing Well by Doing Good

I chose Mastercard for my internship because of my background in payments, the Stern network throughout the firm, and, most importantly, because of their commitment to financial inclusion. They have dedicated resources and expertise on focusing on how to bring the poorest people around the world into the economy through payment systems, blockchain solutions, healthcare innovations, and startup capital. An EVP, and Stern Alum, once described the CEO as a “social justice warrior working in the private sector”. Between that description and a Mastercard campaign with Beyoncé, I was sold for my summer internship.

Few for-profit organizations have integrated social considerations in to their strategy so intricately. For Mastercard, doing well by doing good is more than a tagline, it is literally a way of life for small (or micro) merchants and entrepreneurs who historically had challenges accessing capital and engaging in commerce; you cannot capitalize on the internet of everything if the financial system does not include everyone.

Mastercard is among the leading firms to merge altruism within their business model. I am grateful I get to intern for a company that is continuing to innovate in a way that this former Girl Scout can get behind. The leadership of Mastercard believes doing well by doing good is the future of business—and it is.

Read More on What Mastercard Does in the Financial Inclusion Space

Mastercard & Financial Inclusion

Mastercard’s Center for Inclusive Growth

Summer Internship Series: PricewaterhouseCoopers

Urboshi Pal is a rising MBA2 interning at PricewaterhouseCoopers. At Stern, Urboshi is specializing in Strategy and Leadership & Change Management. Outside of classes, she leads Stern Women in Business (SWIB) as one of the 2018-2019 Co-Presidents and is also a Graduate Ambassador on the MBA Admissions team.

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 Monday morning, and I’m finishing up my last few sips of coffee before heading out the door for the week. I tuck my heels into the front pocket of my suitcase and slip on my comfy flats for travel. With my Amtrak app pulled up on my phone in one hand and my Metrocard ready to go in the other, I take one quick look around the apartment before closing the door behind me. By now, I’ve got down the most efficient route to Penn Station from my apartment, so in a matter of 20 minutes, I’m walking onto the train and settling in for a quick ride to Trenton, NJ…welcome to the consulting commute!

This summer, I’ve been working as a Senior Associate Intern at PricewaterhouseCoopers (“PwC”) in their People & Organization Practice within Health Industries Advisory. PwC is a multinational professional services firm that offers its clients a broad range of assurance, tax, and advisory services. Within Advisory, there are five major industries: Consumer Markets, Industrial Products and Services, Technology, Media and Telecommunications, Financial Services, and Health Industries. Cutting across each industry are practices specializing in specific consulting capabilities, like People & Organization. Health Industries Advisory People & Organization, or HIA P&O for short, focuses on strategy, human capital and talent management, and change consulting projects for clients across the healthcare industry.

I’ve been traveling each week to our client’s offices outside of Philadelphia to work on the change management work stream of a large-scale technology transformation. As an MBA intern, I’m expected to own my work from Day 1, making for an especially engaging and productive experience. It’s been really interesting to see real-world applications of concepts and theories we’ve discussed in the classroom. In particular, I see lots of parallels in my client work to cases we’ve discussed in Leadership in Organizations with Nathan Pettit and Strategy with Sonia Marciano. I feel that I’m able to contribute a unique perspective to my team as a result and hopefully add value to the overall work stream during my short tenure on the project.

While it was certainly an adjustment as first, I’ve fallen into a comfortable routine with the Monday-Thursday travel. I’m typically at our client’s offices from 8:30 AM – 6:00 PM, and I stay at a nearby hotel during the week. We usually sneak in a team dinner or two and leave the other evenings open for working out, relaxing, or catching up on non-client work. I return to NYC on Thursday evening and spend my Fridays in PwC’s newly renovated offices by Bryant Park. After checking in with my client team to make sure we’re squared away on work for the week, I catch up with some of other NYC-based HIA P&O folks and listen in to our practice-wide knowledge sharing and development calls. There are 15 Sternies at PwC this summer, so it’s also been great to learn about the different projects everyone is working on over drinks or dinner at the end of the week.

Celebrating with the HIA P&O team at PwC’s Promotion Day . . .
Hanging out with a few of the PwC Sternies before hearing Tina Fey speak at Promotion Day! (L-R: Ross Parket ’19, James Maresco ’19, Tess Taylor ’19, Naqiya Hussain ’19, and me!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you’re interested in consulting as a post-MBA career, I’m sure you’ve already heard the standard recruiting advice: start doing cases early and frequently, reach out to lots of consultants at your target firms, attend every firm-sponsored event, etc. While all of that is definitely important in making sure you’re prepared to do your best at the interview, it doesn’t really help you make the most of the summer once you’re in. My advice is to use the recruiting process to find the firm that’s the best cultural fit and be true to yourself about what’s most important to you. Consulting is a challenging yet incredibly rewarding lifestyle. By finding people you feel comfortable with and values that resonate with you, you’ll position yourself to take advantage of all that a top consulting firm has to offer, and hopefully have some fun along the way!

It’s been wonderful getting to explore a new city for the summer – hello Philadelphia! View from our hotel during a team offsite event