Stern Summer Success Stories
Published: Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Updated: Monday, November 22, 2010 08:11
ALICE CHIU MBA ‘11
Cole Haan - Strategy and Business Development
How I got hired: OCD Job Posting A Day in the Life: There was no typical "day in the life" but my experiences ranged from spending a week in the field to doing competitive shopping (aka walking around all of Manhattan while surreptitiously taking photos and notes on what's happening in the market while trying really hard not to go deeper into debt by buying something – it's much tougher than it sounds!), to spending countless hours researching annual reports to find any useful bit of market data I could use in my analysis. The Challenge: Retail is a very unstructured industry. This can be a very positive thing at times but it can also be one of the most challenging. I actually have a retail background so I knew what I was getting myself into. You learn to take what you get, ask the questions that need to be asked, and fight to get on your boss' calendar as frequently as possible. The Payoff: The fact that I had the opportunity to be a part of this brand essentially at its re-birth is what was most rewarding. Runner up bests: meeting CEO of Nike Mark Parker after only two weeks with the company and (my personal favorite) the shoes! Preparation: I didn't give up and I didn't compromise. I decided to stick it out and wait for that one opportunity that resonated with me. That opportunity came, albeit late, but it came.
TAMAR HABERFELD MBA ‘11
E+Co Latin America - Social Enterprise
How I got hired: After attending an SEA-sponsored career event about Social Venture Capital, I reached out to one of the panelists, an E+Co Senior Officer, and inquired about working in their Costa Rican office. In addition, I was one of Stern's SIIF (Social Impact Internship Fund) recipients. Why I chose the company: I chose to go after an internship at E+Co because of its credibility and well respected experience in the field of Impact Investing (investments that take into consideration not only financial, but also environmental and social returns). The Challenge: This internship, like many social enterprise internships, requires feeling very comfortable with unstructured frameworks and with carving out your own areas of responsibility. This challenge also turned out to be a great gift, since I was able to get exposure to many different types of work and build up my confidence. Another big challenge was working in a Spanish speaking environment, when my Spanish skills were quite moderate. The Payoff: Gaining experience in an exciting Social Enterprise field in an exciting region.
Preparation: I think the most important thing I did during the school year was to attend every professional event that was even remotely related to the fields I was interested in. I introduced myself to anyone who was willing to listen (and even to those who weren't quite willing). It all ended up paying off tremendously, as I had more than one offer to choose from during my Spring semester.
EMILY TODD MBA ‘11
JP Morgan - Investment Banking
How I got hired: I got the job through formal on-campus recruiting that takes place during the fall and continues through early winter. A Day in the Life: Get to work between 9-9:30 and shoot the breeze with the intern next to me for a few minutes before spending 30 minutes on an on-going project. Jumping on a 10:00am call that lasts until 11:30 while responding to quick requests via email and answering questions of the summer analyst working with me. 11:30am – meet with the team to discuss new deliverables and the status of existing ones related to a sell-side deal. Following the meeting, set up the summer analyst to turn comments while I got on a call for a different sell-side. Spend the afternoon working on a financial analysis for this sell-side before turning it in at 6ish, and then beginning a model update for my other project which likely lasted the rest of the night. The Challenge: I really didn't have much experience in PowerPoint before this summer which made creating presentations rather time-consuming. The hours were challenging at times as well (obviously) but handling them was easier than I had expected. The Payoff: The most rewarding aspect was the impact you have on your clients. As an M&A advisor or banker in general, you are working with senior management at the most critical points in their companies' lifetimes. They often lean on you not only for financial advice but for strategic and operational advice. Also, the relationships I developed within JPM were rewarding. As with most banks, you work so many hours that you are forced to get to know your colleagues on a personal level which makes late nights far easier than I expected.
JOE TRAVERSO MBA ‘11
Zynga - Product Management
How I got hired: I discovered Zynga the way nearly every other Facebook user has – via the company's omnipresent posts in my News Feed. Why I chose the company: Beyond being one of the hottest tech startups in the world, Zynga satisfied my two primary reasons for returning to business school – getting startup exposure and interactive entertainment industry experience. A Day in the Life: The typical day at Zynga begins around 9:00am. For product managers, mornings consist of scattered meetings – called "scrums" – during which the team's priorities for the day are set and the game's developers report on progress against their assigned tasks since the previous day. Between these meetings, product managers spend much of their time analyzing the previous day's performance, tracking which features are meeting expectations and which are underperforming, and if there were any major issues impacting users. By midday, these metrics have been analyzed and a report to management has been prepared. Lunch is served by Zynga's on-site culinary team at noon, and the afternoon is split between brainstorming new ideas, conducting analysis to prioritize ideas already in the pipeline, and writing specifications to help developers implement new features into the game. Alongside these activities, product managers work with developers on features already in development, prioritizing bug fixes and testing functionality. The Payoff: Without question, the most rewarding aspect of my time at Zynga was knowing the impact of my work on the company's users. It was humbling for me to have the opportunity to create new ways for these users to enjoy their favorite games. Knowing that the work I was doing was making an impact on more than 32 million people per month, while intimidating at first, was the most rewarding part of my job. Preparation: For those MBA1s interested in internships in entertainment, media, or technology, I strongly recommend pursuing an officer position in one of Stern's two EMT-focused clubs – TANG or MESA. I held AVP positions with both clubs last year, and both positions led to compelling interview opportunities with major EMT companies.