Industry Focus: Technology at Yale SOM
In this series, we ask current Yale SOM MBA students to share their experiences interning and recruiting for positions in their industries, as well as the resources at SOM that have helped them in the process.
Audrey Hosford ’21
Undergraduate education: B.S. in computer science with a minor in creative writing from Northwestern University
Pre-SOM experience: Five years at General Motors in Roswell, Georgia (one and half years as a software developer, one and a half years as a requirements analyst, and two years as a systems analyst)
Summer internship: Product manager at Microsoft, within Microsoft 365 Groups
Why did you choose the technology industry?
Tech is a field where careful analysis and boundless creativity go hand in hand. I never wanted to choose between my analytical and inventive skills, and the right role in this industry means I never have to. I love building something concrete, something people can see and use and talk about, that adds tangible value to their lives.
What was a typical day like during recruiting season?
Recruiting for tech is what you make of it, outside of the Big Tech application deadlines in November. There is no set path or track to follow, like there is with consulting or banking, because there are so many different roles available in the industry. For PM roles, I reviewed product design case questions, behavioral and situational questions, and high-level technical concepts. I might have a phone screen or video interview in the early afternoon, after classes are finished, or a product case team meeting early in the morning.
How was your summer internship experience?
Microsoft was incredibly supportive throughout my remote internship, as I was located in New Haven and my team was based in Redmond, Washington, and Bangalore. I had two projects in both the consumer and enterprise product space—one more exploratory, the other focused on delivering a new feature demo. I really cannot say enough nice things about both the intern program as a whole and about my team.
Was there a class at SOM that helped you develop key skills for this internship?
Innovator was particularly helpful—it teaches you how to get inside the heads of your users, which is critical to success as a PM.
What were some of the most valuable resources at SOM that helped you during your search?
The Tech Club by far was the most valuable resource at SOM. As someone with a technical background, I wasn’t new to the industry, but understanding how to recruit for MBA roles was very important. The materials the club provided were critical to my process.
Do you have any advice for prospective students looking to work in the technology space?
Get comfortable with ambiguity. No one is going to give you a list of deliverables or a tutorial about the space you’re in, and there is no single foolproof path into the industry. Do serious research on which roles appeal to you and speak to alumni with backgrounds similar to yours. Use the information you gather to plan your own unique strategy, one tailored to your experiences and your goals.