May: A Mile Marker and a Dream Internship

First off, Congratulations to the Class of 2013! I'm so proud of you all, and going to miss so many of you that I've come to call friends over the short year. It's terrifying to me that I can already call myself a second year - I know I have very big shoes to fill. I know this kind of feeling has got to happen every May: a sense of accomplishment, a sense of finality, and a sense of great anticipation for what comes next. Like reaching the 25th mile of a marathon. (I presume. I've never run one.)

The entrance to Etsy's offices in Brooklyn, NY. It's a crafty place. Photo by Etsy. The entrance to Etsy's offices in Brooklyn, NY. It's a crafty place. Photo by Etsy.

Meanwhile, it's 88 degrees right now in San Jose, my hometown. I'm spending a week here recuperating from the 1.2-mile sprint that was Spring 2 before moving back to Brooklyn to start my internship at Etsy. Etsy is one of the largest B-Corps in the nation, and I'm quiet excited to intern in their Values & Impact department this summer. As part of V&I, I'll be working to integrate their B-Corp mission ("helping develop micro-enterprises at scale, and build local, living economies") with the rest of their business operations and human capital practices. It's quite literally the dream job, and I'm looking forward to sinking my teeth into whatever projects they throw at me as soon as I start.

My path to Etsy was not a traditional one. Unlike many of my classmates who went through the crucible that is on-campus recruiting, I knew I was going to have a work even harder to find the right internship, because most of the companies I wanted to work with were too small to come recruit on campus. Knowing that I'd have to start sooner rather than later, I started looking into my personal network in August, right after Orientation. I felt like a crazy person, starting so early, but it paid off almost immediately. Within a month, I'd set up an informational interview with someone in Etsy's San Francisco office. (The connector was a friend of mine at Berkeley/Haas - How's that for Coopetition?) She then put me in touch with the head of V&I, and I spoke to him a few times over the next several months, culminating in an in-person interview at the amazing Etsy offices (3 links there) in Brooklyn. Etsy hadn't officially created a position for this department, so we spoke more about creating my own internship, and what we could do together over the summer. It was easily the most thrilling, and most unnerving interview I've ever sat in, and I walked out not quite sure if I'd been made a soft offer or not. Lo and behold, a couple days later, I got a phone call from the head of staffing, and we went over the details for my offer letter. Looking back now, I almost can't believe how I got from point A to point B - not that it was the easiest process, but it was one that was filled with a great amount of fun, and a building sense of excitement throughout. Needless to say, I did not go through the process alone. I worked very closely with Kristy, one of the expert Relationship Managers at the Career Development Office, and she kept me on track, helped me work on my resume, mock interviews, and advised me when it came time to pitch my own internship and review my offer letter. I'm so happy and excited with what's coming up, and I owe a great deal to Kristy and everyone else who helped me on my way to my dream job. I look forward to updating you all throughout the summer about how it's going!

Kristy and me shortly after I submitted my offer letter.One other thing before I sign off for the day - now that it's public knowledge, I wanted to say how honored I am to be named a 2013 Fellow of the Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans. Being the kid of two spectacular immigrant parents has been a defining part of my life, and I hope that the opportunities that this fellowship provides allow me to make good on the promise my parents saw when their families moved to the States many years ago.

More to come from me soon regarding the remainder of my International Experience, some amazing speakers that came to campus in the last semester, and the thing I'm most excited about in the coming year.

About the author

Dennis Tseng

MBA, 2014