What are you doing this summer? 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.
Tanmay Manohar ’16
Internship: Viacom Media Networks, New York City, NY
Home Country/State: Pennsylvania (originally Wollongong, Australia)
Favorite Yale SOM Class: Competitor, Customer, Operations Engine, Strategic Marketing Leadership
Clubs & Affiliations: Marketing Club, Media & Entertainment Club, Tech Club, Arts & Culture Club, Student Government, Ally - Women in Management
Given the ludicrous amount of television and movies I watch and given my love for acting, working in the Media & Entertainment industry seemed like a natural fit. I have absolutely loved my time at Viacom over the past four weeks and can hardly believe I'm a third of the way through my internship already! If you've not heard of Viacom, I'm sure you've heard of some of the brands it owns: MTV, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, BET, CMT, Spike, TV Land, VH1, and Paramount Pictures, among others. If you've not watched anything produced by those brands recently, get started! Use this summer to binge watch stuff. And feel free to use the excuse that you're "getting a head-start on the Media & Entertainment Club curriculum."
While the people here at Viacom are youthful (in age and/or in spirit) and the floors are all decorated vibrantly to reflect the different brands/channels, that doesn't mean that the work is approached with frivolity. On the first day of my internship the Senior Vice President to whom I'm reporting told me, "This is not some internship where you'll run around getting coffee for people. I want to give you a challenging project with a tangible outcome that we can point to at the end of the summer and say, 'Tanmay did that.' It's going to be hard work but along the way, dude, you'll have fun." I'm definitely someone who appreciates that practical–but dynamic–approach to work. Funny story: my boss previously worked at Microsoft and hired my classmate Brittan Berry for her internship and shortly thereafter joined Viacom and hired me. Brittan would call me out for "stealing her cool manager" (he is indeed awesome), but since she seems to be having a blast in Seattle and since we went from being just acquaintances to being friends as a result of this situation, I believe my feelings about this episode are encapsulated by the popular hashtag #sorrynotsorry.
On the first day of my internship the Senior Vice President to whom I'm reporting told me, "This is not some internship where you'll run around getting coffee for people. I want to give you a challenging project with a tangible outcome that we can point to at the end of the summer and say, 'Tanmay did that.' It's going to be hard work but along the way, dude, you'll have fun."
Switching gears to describe the focus of my project, it involves finding ways to use data-driven audience insights from the Data Strategy & Consumer Intelligence department to better inform the integrated marketing strategies designed by the highly creative Viacom Velocity team. Being able to combine technical expertise with creative vision is exactly the type of work that excites me. I will have the opportunity at the end of the summer to present my solution to the Executive Vice President of Marketing Strategy and Engagement–i.e. the equivalent of the Chief Marketing Officer at Viacom. I find myself applying a combination of the detail- and process-oriented skills developed during my previous position as a Management & Technology Consultant as well as the big-picture, critical thinking techniques honed at SOM. If you find yourself wondering how SOM's focus on business AND society is relevant to entertainment, then I would point out that Viacom does not just create content for enjoyment. It is a company that leverages its brands to define the way in which we perceive the world. From the shows it chooses to produce to the causes it chooses to support, Viacom influences popular culture in a meaningful way, and hence its business decisions bear great social responsibility.
But before you get too stressed out about being a paragon of corporate social responsibility, or applying the 3C-STP-4P marketing framework correctly, or deriving an appropriate value for the Weighted Average Cost of Capital to use in your financial model, or setting a reminder to call dad on Father's Day,* remember to have fun! From enjoying the music of guest performer Andy Grammer at our intern kick-off party, to eating my way around the city with friends, to enjoying outdoor concerts and movie screenings, to finding an archery range in Brooklyn where I can begin my quest to become a superhero archer after being inspired by one of my new favorite TV shows (Arrow), I can say without a doubt that New York is a fabulous place to be during the summer and I can't wait to see what the next two months will bring!
* P.S. Father's Day in the United States is Sunday, June 21st. If you're reading this before then and you had forgotten about Father's Day, you're welcome. If you're reading this after June 21st and you already forgot, well... feel free to try the excuse that you were caught up in getting a head-start on the Media & Entertainment Club curriculum…