Yale School of Management

Lessons from MBA Internships

This month, first-year MBA students begin interviewing for summer internships. We talked to second-year students about the most valuable takeaways from their internships and how the concepts they learned in Yale SOM’s integrated core curriculum helped them succeed.

Aayushi Dalal ’17
Goldman Sachs

“I interned in the investment banking division as part of the technology, media, and telecommunications industry group. I come from a finance background, but the integrated core curriculum at SOM, along with an array of exciting electives that address pertinent issues, really prepare you for the post-MBA role of an associate. In this role, you are required to manage teams of analysts, so developing soft skills including effective team management and time management, in addition to technical aptitude, is essential. One of the most striking things about my internship was how much I learned over the course of the short 10-week program. It was an extremely steep learning curve, but one that presented an extraordinary opportunity to form strong networks, relationships, and mentorships. We had access to some of the most successful people in the field of investment banking, and learning from them first-hand was one of the highlights of my summer experience.”

 

Kelly McLeod ’17
McKinsey

“My projects included doing a digital strategy for a financial institution and doing procurement for a resources company. With the digital strategy, I focused a lot on the customer and what was important there. I was able to use a lot of concepts from Customer in terms of looking, for example, at the customer funnel when figuring out how to get people to understand what we were thinking about doing, and really converting them in the end into customers. Doing digital strategy was also something very new for this organization, so concepts from Innovator came in handy, like really pushing the fail-early, fail-often approach. We went through so many iterations of what we were thinking that it was really helpful to have the perspective that it doesn’t have to be perfect right away.”

 

Alex Lowe ’17
GE Power

“I interned with the strategic marketing team, looking at demand creation and growth. My role was marketing based, so some of the SOM coursework that I drew on, and that was particularly useful, were the frameworks I learned in the Customer class—specifically how to look at and decompose a market. I was also able to draw on curriculum from the Global Virtual Teams course, because part of the team that I interned on was becoming virtual and working from Boston. I was able to share some virtual teamwork tips with the manager of our team, and he was very appreciative.

“My courses that focused on renewable energy project finance and on finance in green tech both gave me a more holistic view of the energy sector, which was definitely helpful over the summer. If you develop strong finance skills and understand how those play into the energy sector, it gives you a lot more options in your future career opportunities.”

 

Giuseppe Mangiacotti ’17
Amazon

“I was part of the Finance Leadership Development program. I worked on a project for Amazon Retail within the Amazon Fashion team. The benefit of an internship is that it’s not a long-term commitment. It’s a chance to figure out if this is truly what you want to pursue a career in. When you go into a full-time position, especially for international students with visa issues, you’re dedicating at least three years to the job. So for me, the summer was a way to validate what I wanted to do. My project at Amazon was supposed to be finance-focused, but it geared more towards business strategy, and that was really what excited me the most. I enjoyed the challenge so much, I’m actually doing a YCCI project this semester to explore more strategic roles.”

 

Caroline Loevner ’17
Procter & Gamble

“I loved my summer internship. In terms of the role and the industry, it was exactly what I wanted it to be. Brand management was fantastic. I was exposed to a lot of senior leadership, and they take the internship very seriously in terms of teaching you the skills that you need to succeed in your 12-week internship and exposing you to what a career at P&G and what a career in brand management looks like. I got to think about two, three, four roles down the line within this company and to think about what kind of position I see myself in. One of my mentors recommended I not take too many marketing courses this year, because I'll learn a lot of those skills on the job, whereas this may be my last opportunity to learn how to value a company or learn about international real estate or just take something totally out of marketing.”

 

Fabian Farkas ’17
Internship: Inspire Impact MBA Fellow at Inspiring Capital, which matches MBA student consultants with nonprofits and social sector ventures to help develop sustainable business strategies.

“I worked with Welcoming America, a fast-growing nonprofit connecting local governments and nonprofit agencies to create more inclusive environments for immigrants and refugees. While my prior for-profit consulting experience helped me navigate project and client management this summer, SOM prepared me to translate these skills to the social sector.

“It was important to first understand what skills I had versus what I needed, which in my case was exposure to the social sector, so I took part in relevant extracurricular experiences that give me practical insights, and I took relevant electives to expand my theoretical knowledge. Talking with classmates, alumni, and professionals was also crucial to get a better feel for the sector. There are a ton of MBA students at SOM who have done something similar to what I want to do. I tell first-year students to see the opportunity as a revolving door, where ‘I get your job, and you get mine’ and in the middle, we meet to learn from each other.”

Internships