This episode is part of a special mini-series of “Career Conversations” focused on MBA summer internships. We asked rising second-year MBA students to check in from their summer internships, where they are applying the lessons of their first year at Yale SOM.
Transcript provided by rev.com.
Amy Kundrat (00:05):
Welcome to Career Conversations, a podcast from the Yale School of Management. Each episode of Career Conversations is a candid conversation between a student here at SOM and a member of the Yale community, who's doing something that we're curious about. Kind of like an informational interview, except you get to listen in. I'm Amy Kundrat, an executive MBA student in the class of 2021.
Emily Kling (00:27):
And I'm Emily Kling, a full time MBA student in the class of 2021. And we continue our special Career Conversations mini series focused on MBA summer internships. We are joined by Daven Hines, Daven is a full time MBA student in the class of 2021. He is spending his summer as a product marketing intern at YouTube. Daven, welcome.
Amy Kundrat (00:46):
Welcome. Can you introduce yourself to our listeners?
Daven Hines (00:50):
Yes, thank you for that warm welcome. I'm Daven, a first year MBA student here at SOM, working at YouTube as a product marketing manager this summer and loving it. And excited to talk to you all about it.
Amy Kundrat (01:06):
And what were you doing before SOM?
Daven Hines (01:09):
Yeah. So I'll give you a little backstory, I'm originally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I went to University of Wisconsin-Madison, where I studied marketing. And after undergrad, I worked for Procter & Gamble for about four years in their sales function. So I moved all around the US, lived in Florida for a little bit, ended up in Boston and made the decision to come to SOM or to pursue my MBA because I was looking to kind of pivot out of sales and go into marketing, kind of go back to my undergrad days. And then also, looking to get into a new industry. I always joke like P&G was amazing, but I didn't love selling soap. So I wanted to do something that was a little more in tune with my personal passions.
Amy Kundrat (01:59):
So would it be fair to say you came to SOM to pivot? And if so, how has that process been?
Daven Hines (02:04):
Yeah, I definitely came to SOM to pivot. The process has been great, I'll say one really cool thing about SOM is kind of like the small class size. And because of the small class size, it's very easy to get involved in whatever club you want to get into. So I joined the media entertainment club, based on my background I had no reason to be there, but I had a really strong passion and wanted to put the ground work down to make that pivot. And it was really easy to do so.
Emily Kling (02:37):
Daven, I sort of know the answer to this question because I was on the media and entertainment club with you. But could you talk a little bit more about your experiences doing that?
Daven Hines (02:43):
Yeah, yeah. So yes, me and Emily were leading the M&E club last year and continuing to do it this year. And it was a really good, kind of low pressure way to get involved and understand the media entertainment industry. We were able to talk to second years, very candidly, about their experience, whether that be in the summer or prior to SOM in media entertainment. And then also we were able to really get involved with some alumni and reach out to them and kind of get like a firsthand networking connection with alumni from years past, who are doing really, really amazing things. So I feel like the access that I had to the M&E world was really open and kind of [inaudible 00:03:33] for me.
Emily Kling (03:34):
Totally. What are the other clubs you've been a part of?
Daven Hines (03:37):
Yeah, so I am a part of the black business alliance, I'll be leading that this year. I am a member of the out of office group here at SOM, I'm a fan of the food and wine club. I haven't been to many of those meetings, but love what they do. And yeah, and then I also work with the Black Graduate Network, which is kind of a Yale broader organization.
Amy Kundrat (04:07):
So when you're not busy co-leading clubs and studying, what do you do in your spare time?
Daven Hines (04:13):
In my spare time ... so I feel like I have the COVID answer and then I have the pre-COVID answer. But as of recently, I've been really exploring New Haven and specifically East Rock. It's a really cute, quaint neighborhood with a lot of like cool patches of grass and like parks to kind of sit and just take in like the environment. A lot of young families live here, a lot of graduate students live here, so I feel like it's very vibrant, but at the same time, pretty peaceful.
Amy Kundrat (04:47):
Great. So, yeah, let's get into it about your internship this summer. So you mentioned you're at YouTube, what is it like working at YouTube? What have you been up to?
Daven Hines (04:57):
Yeah, it's been an amazing summer. I'm working specifically on the YouTube live brand, especially given the current times we're in, live is a really big platform in a way for people to join and build a community. And YouTube is trying to be a part of that. So I'm working on a really dynamic project right now, it's constantly changing. But I feel like I'm learning so much about the organization because YouTube is just wildly big, but also marketing within YouTube is pretty massive itself. But also learning about just the community that YouTube fosters from a creator standpoint and from an audience standpoint, it's been a wealth of knowledge.
Emily Kling (05:45):
Totally. Could you shed a little bit more light on something that listeners might not totally understand about YouTube? I ask as somebody who follows some YouTube stars and maybe what goes into the making of the sausage over there?
Daven Hines (06:03):
Emily Kling (06:04):
Daven Hines (06:07):
Right. I'll say that YouTube does a ... they take their job very seriously. I think that YouTube is such a fun platform to be on, people can say pretty much anything that they want to say and like they can use this platform as a way to build an audience. But the folks who work at YouTube really take it as a responsibility to foster a positive place where people can feel supported, they can feel community. And they won't feel attacked for the way that they think or for the way that they present themselves online. So that's probably one thing that I've learned, just how much work really goes into building a safe space. Like how much thought goes into making sure creators feel supported, how much like technical support goes behind, like managing comments and making sure that people aren't saying things that are disparaging. They put a lot of thought and effort behind that and they take pride in making sure that the space is good for everyone.
Amy Kundrat (07:16):
Kind of digging more into your role as a product marketing manager, for those of us who might not be familiar with that role. What are some of your responsibilities as a product marketing manager at YouTube, for YouTube live?
Daven Hines (07:30):
Yeah. So it can span across a lot of things, but for the group that I work with, a lot of it is supporting the product managers and making sure that the great products that they've developed and worked with engineers on, to make sure that these products go to market in a right way. So that means segmenting who this product is for, making sure we have a good marketing strategy to communicate to the creators or the audience about this product. Making sure that this product from like a policy standpoint or from a community engagement standpoint is supporting the mission that YouTube has in making this like a positive place for people to come and share their voice.
Daven Hines (08:21):
So I think more so than not, it's a business partnership role, where we're really focusing on activating and engaging kind of the community around X product that we're launching.
Emily Kling (08:35):
Daven, correct me if I'm wrong, but YouTube is owned by Google, right?
Daven Hines (08:40):
Emily Kling (08:41):
So what is that relationship like? Does working at YouTube feel like working at a Google subsidiary? Does it feel like a totally separate company? Has it come up at all? What has your experience been with that?
Daven Hines (08:52):
Yeah. So from my experience, my short experience, I'll say that the company, YouTube as a company, is very involved and engaged with Google. We share all of the same systems, we're working for the same company. It's really even awesome, like get perspective from leaders who work at Google and all of that stuff is accessible to us, as YouTube employees.
Daven Hines (09:21):
But I will say that, the products that we work on are very focused on YouTube, obviously. And I'll say like the day to day work is very focused on the YouTube brand, which makes it feel a little different, in my opinion. I think YouTube is particularly exciting and it's really cool to work with folks who only touch YouTube and get just as excited about it as I do.
Amy Kundrat (09:49):
So, one question we're asking students this summer is, is there like a big takeaway that you'll have when you walk away from this internship and start back up at SOM? Is there something you just kind of discovered about working in this role or at this company that either [inaudible 00:10:05] assumptions or maybe debunked a myth that you might've had?
Daven Hines (10:09):
Yeah. Well, I'll say one takeaway I'm hoping to get from this experience is a full time job. But outside of that, I'll say I'm learning a lot about the media entertainment industry and kind of like how you can have transferable skills that will work really well in that industry. I think when I came to SOM, I had a passion for media entertainment and I wanted to work in that space, but I didn't necessarily think I had the skills to do it. And now that, I guess, I am doing it, I am using a lot of the core business skills that I learned at P&G. And using a lot of like the general management thoughts or the general management frameworks that I'm learning at SOM on the job here. So if anyone is looking to do an industry change, just know that you can, you can do it and you can do well. The skills that you're learning in your past careers and the skills that you'll learn at SOM will take you forward.
Emily Kling (11:16):
How has your internship experience been shaped by the current climate? Thinking both about COVID-19 and the black lives matter movement, I imagine that does come up at YouTube in some capacity.
Daven Hines (11:28):
Yeah. So I will say that YouTube and Google as an organization, has been extremely supportive from a working at home standpoint. I feel like they are the internet, so if anyone can do a virtual anything, it's them. But also from people's standpoint and making sure that people feel supported. I've had so many conversations with my management, I've had many conversations with peers, I've had conversations with on-staff therapists, which like these resources are amazing to me. But all around, "Hey, you as a black man, you are supposed to be here in this space. You belong and you are supported. Feel free to bring your whole self to work, if you need to take time to process what's going on in the world, take that time."
Daven Hines (12:23):
I don't think I've ever felt this much encouragement in a workplace and it's so odd because I'm also virtual, like I'm feeling this like much compassion. But it's been really positive, I think that the business has taken this as an opportunity to kind of grow in themselves. Like, I've seen leadership be very transparent about how their experiences in the world have ... how it's been impacted by like this situation, so it's been a reflective time. But also like it's been a really good experience from seeing how a company can be agile and really take what's going on in the world and turn it into an opportunity to do something good.
Amy Kundrat (13:15):
That's great, thank you for sharing that. And as you returned to SOM in the fall, what do you think you'll take with you from YouTube back to SOM?
Daven Hines (13:26):
That's a good question. I think I will take something that has been part of SOM and I think it's like talking about serious situations. I think that's one thing that SOM already does in our classes, via Voices, we're having conversations that you wouldn't have necessarily had, like in a typical workplace. I can't say that I was a part of those conversations, but I can say I was like fully dived in. And I think like having this experience at YouTube, knowing that like, okay, in the "real business world" there's a place for these conversations to be had, and there's growth and learning that can come from these conversations, especially when others have not had them. I think I can say from my experience this summer that these conversations are impactful and they help change the world. And I want to continue to have that when I come back to SOM and just feel comfortable with speaking about things that might not have been spoken about before.
Amy Kundrat (14:35):
Yeah. And for those listening who may not know what Voices is, we actually had Francis Sims on, I think, a couple episodes ago and she actually founded Voices. Can you share with us what Voices is to you?
Daven Hines (14:48):
Yeah. Voices is an awesome platform. It's a place where people can openly share how they feel, openly share experiences that they've had, whether those be negative or positive. And think critically about how those experiences have shaped their lives. It's a place that's so unique because there's really like no rules, nothing said is stupid, nothing said is judged. It's very, very safe and I don't know too many places where you can speak that openly and candidly about things that have impacted your life and in such a supportive space. And I think that's stellar, I've learned so much about my classmates. I've learned a lot about myself, even though I haven't done the Voices. And I think it's really embodies kind of the culture and the passion that SOM holds
Emily Kling (15:46):
Daven, If you were to do a Voices, what would your Voices topic be?
Daven Hines (15:51):
Well, I can't give it away, you going to have to tune in.
Emily Kling (15:53):
Fair enough. All right, everyone tuned in when it happens, it'll be amazing. But we don't know what about. In that case, what else have you been doing this summer that has nothing to do with SOM, nothing to do with your internship. Just the [inaudible 00:16:07] goings on.
Daven Hines (16:09):
Yeah, so one thing that I've been trying to do this summer and I've been having to partner with my friends who have cars, is going to tiny towns in the Northeast. We've been driving around, so we went to Mystic, Connecticut, went to Hidden Valley, I went to Narragansett, Rhode Island, like all of these small towns that have so much culture is super cute. And especially in a time where traveling far and wide isn't something that we can easily do or should do, this has been a great way to explore our backyard, but also in a safe way.
Amy Kundrat (16:48):
Totally. And most importantly of all, what are you watching? What should we all watch? Beside YouTube stars, including YouTube, both. Either way.
Daven Hines (16:58):
Yes. So watch YouTube, there are tons of creators on there that you can discover. But if you want to watch something on Netflix or on TV in a traditional sense, I'll say Emily knows how I feel about Insecure, what a great show. They did ... what I believe, their fourth season. Yeah, so I loved that, I'm sad that it's over. On Netflix, I've been watching a show called Never Have I Ever, it's Mindy Kaling's show. She's such a great writer and the characters on there are so funny and like angsty and like teeny and they think they have everything figured out, but obviously they don't. So that's been really cool to watch.
Amy Kundrat (17:45):
That's [inaudible 00:17:46].
Daven Hines (17:48):
Yeah, very good content. And then oddly, I've been ... well, no, I'll leave it at that.
Amy Kundrat (17:59):
Oh my gosh, what's the last one? Just say it. We won't [crosstalk 00:18:06]-
Daven Hines (18:07):
I was going to say, oddly, I've been reading, but like, I don't want that to be odd.
Emily Kling (18:09):
What have you been reading?
Daven Hines (18:14):
I've been reading a lot of really good books, so James Baldwin, I've picked up a lot of his books as of late. If Beale Street Could Talk is an amazing book, saw the film, cried both times. Another really good James Baldwin book that I've been reading, it's called The Fire Next Time. It's like a letter to his nephew about being black in America and I see a lot of parallels from when he wrote it in ... call it sixties or seventies to now, which is really amazing. So yeah, those are a few books that I've been reading.
Amy Kundrat (18:51):
I think before we let you go, we'd love to hear what you're looking forward to doing when you get back to SOM. And I'm going to put that back-
Daven Hines (18:59):
Amy Kundrat (18:59):
[inaudible 00:18:59] back to SOM, what are you looking forward to in year two?
Daven Hines (19:05):
So I was just telling someone this earlier today, I am looking forward to having a good time with my classmates. I know that a good time will look different and there's a lot of unknowns in the world. But I refuse to have this opportunity to go and not enjoy it. I think so much of the MBA experience is networking and having fellowship with your peers, in whatever format that happens, I am going to take full advantage. So I want to meet the first years, the incoming students. I want to meet more E MBAs. I want to meet more MAM's, MBA folks. I really am looking forward to getting to know and have deeper relationships with my classmates.
Amy Kundrat (19:53):
That's great. And is there anything we didn't ask you about your internship, about your SOM experience, about you, that you would love to share?
Emily Kling (20:03):
And on your favorite, media and entertainment club member?
Daven Hines (20:07):
Yes, Emily is fantastic.
Emily Kling (20:14):
We're keeping that in.
Daven Hines (20:15):
Definitely check her out. Keep all that in. Oh, I wanted to ... so I prepared for this, I thought y'all were going to ask, like, "What's your favorite class?" And I had a favorite class that I wanted to talk about.
Amy Kundrat (20:25):
We want to hear it, what's your favorite class?
Daven Hines (20:27):
Yeah, so my favorite class that I took, actually, this past quarter was strategic marketing leadership. It's really a capstone course for second years, but I was able to sneak in because of the virtual format, they had more seats, a blessing in disguise. And it was so awesome to learn and hear from different CMOs, they brought the CMO from Spotify, Seth Farbman, the senior vice president of IBM, Michelle Peluso, Ann Mukherjee from Pernod Ricard, like just so many awesome leaders who are doing really good work. And I think as an aspiring CMO myself, it was really nice to hear from them on their experiences in business, their experience and their thought on what the CMO role looks like now and moving forward. Something that I took a lot of value from.
Amy Kundrat (21:31):
Great. Thank you so much for joining us today. We had fun.
Emily Kling (21:35):
Thank you, Daven.
Daven Hines (21:37):
Thank you for having me. It's been marvelous.
Amy Kundrat (21:41):
Have a great rest of your summer at YouTube. We'll see you on campus.
Amy Kundrat (21:43):
You've been listening to Career Conversations, a podcast from the Yale School of Management. If you like what you heard today, please subscribe to this podcast. You can find Career Conversations on Apple podcasts, Spotify, or however you take your podcasts.
Emily Kling (22:00):
You can also find the show on our website at som.yale.educ/careerconversations. Career conversations is produced by SOM, our producers are Amy Kundrat and Emily Kling. For Career Conversations, I'm Emily Kling.
Amy Kundrat (22:15):
And I'm Amy Kundrat.
Emily Kling (22:17):
Thanks for listening and we hope you'll tune in again.
Daven Hines ’21
Hometown: Milwaukee, WI
Clubs and affiliations: Co-President of Black Business Alliance, Media & Entertainment Club
Favorite Yale SOM Class: State & Society
Favorite New Haven eatery: The Pantry
Favorite Professor: Lorenzo Caliendo
Favorite Yale SOM community event: Harvard Yale Game
Bonus facts: I've been taking nature walks this summer in CT and they have been amazing! Ask me about cool trails to explore around town.