What did you do this summer? In this series, Laurie Toth asked rising second-year MBA students to check in from their summer internships, where they applied the lessons of their first year at Yale SOM.
Tali Marcus ’23, Dow Jones
Internship: Dow Jones
Hometown: Needham, Massachusetts (outside Boston)
Preferred Gender Pronouns: she/her
Clubs and Affiliations: Jewish Students Association; Orientation Leader; YCCI Student Fellow on the Mastercard Project
Favorite SOM Class: YCCI Discovery Project and The Science of Experiences and Well-Being
Favorite SOM Professor: Lesley Meng, Anjani Jain, and Raphael Duguay—they all do a great job of taking complex material and making it accessible and surprisingly fun!
Favorite New Haven eatery: Claire's Corner Copia and Somos Arepas
Favorite thing you do in New Haven or at SOM to unwind: Walks in East Rock Park
Favorite Yale study space: The Evans Hall courtyard on a sunny day ☀️
Bonus: The photo to the right is my very own WSJ-style stipple portrait! This one is AI generated, but there is an artist on staff who draws them by hand for editorial staff.
This summer, I spent 10 weeks as a product management intern at Dow Jones. Dow Jones is the parent company of publications including the Wall Street Journal, Barron’s, and MarketWatch. As a member of the Strategic Products team focused on personalization, my work centered on surfacing relevant content to users based on their actively expressed interests.
I worked on two main projects throughout the summer. The first was a competitive analysis of stock watchlists, a feature that allows users to follow publicly traded companies and get updated about changes to the stock price and other relevant and timely news. One thing I loved about this project is that it allowed me to apply my background in behavioral science to the insights I uncovered. Some of my recommendations were even presented to the CEO and added to the company roadmap! While the level of impact of this project was exciting, the most important thing I learned was how to take a large amount of data and distill it into actionable insights.
My second project was internally facing and gave me a chance to explore data analytics. I was responsible for designing a dashboard to track analytics about the impact of a new personalization feature my team had developed. I started the project by interviewing users in our four stakeholder groups to understand their goals, pain points, and what types of data they would find most useful. As I was writing my interview script, I referred back to notes from my YCCI Discovery Project about how to ask effective questions to discover a user’s beliefs, goals, and choices. The YCCI framework came in handy again when it was time to synthesize the key insights from the 15 interviews I conducted. This process allowed me to surface and prioritize the most important user needs for the dashboard, and it directly informed the new features I designed.
I learned a lot working on these projects, and I appreciated the autonomy I was given to determine how I would approach them. This was largely thanks to my incredible manager, Dan Kent, SOM Class of 2016. Dan publicized the internship opportunity through the CDO, and I applied on a whim. I didn’t know much about Dow Jones, but I knew that I was interested in product management, and everyone I spoke to had only great things to say about Dan. I knew from past jobs how impactful a good manager can be, and working with Dan was one of the best parts of my internship experience. As an SOM alum, Dan understood where I was coming from and what I was hoping to get out of the summer. He thoughtfully chose projects for me that built upon my existing skills, challenged me in new ways, and made a tangible impact on our team’s work. Dan was also an invaluable resource when it came to choosing my courses for the following semester and discussing career trajectories; he was extremely generous with his time and always happy to share advice on these and other topics.
Beyond all the work I did this summer, I also had a lot of fun! On my first day in the office, I walked through the halls and saw Pulitzer prizes for WSJ reporting, podcast recording studios, and a touching memorial to slain journalist Daniel Pearl. In addition to intern events like a bowling outing and brunch with company executives, I also had one-on-one chats with some exciting colleagues, including Ryan Knutson, the host of The Journal podcast, and CEO Almar Latour, who started at Dow Jones as an intern himself! Above all, this was the first time I’ve worked at a company whose product felt immediately tangible and relevant to me, and that made for an extremely motivating experience and rewarding summer.