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.
Daniel Joseph ’24
Internship: Nike, Inc., Beaverton, Oregon
Hometown: Cleveland, Ohio
Clubs and Affiliations: Marketing Club, Christian Business Fellowship
Favorite SOM Class: Yale Center for Consumer Insights (YCCI) Discovery Project
Favorite SOM Professor: Raphael Duguay
Favorite New Haven Eatery: Claire’s Corner Copia
During the summer of 2023, I had the opportunity to live in downtown Portland, Oregon, while interning at Nike. Portland in and of itself was incredible. The beauty of the Pacific Northwest, endless coffee and food scene, and unique city dynamic made for an amazing two-plus months. Spending the work weeks interning at Nike’s Global HQ in Beaverton, Oregon, however, is what made the summer truly memorable.
I came into SOM with two goals. One, to round out my mostly technical engineering background with core business fundamentals and two, to pivot my career into the intersection of technology/data and consumer behavior. Thus, I consider myself very lucky to have ended up in a graduate summer internship role within Nike’s Global Consumer Insights Organization. This global organization breaks down into various functions including Consumer Data Science, Consumer Market Research, Marketing Science, and more. My role was on a horizontal team called Scaled Insights and Analytics, which has the goal of acting as an operational center of excellence across Consumer Insights, but I spent the summer embedded in the Marketing Science function.
The focus of my project was to build a framework and tool to effectively measure marketing campaign performance. One of the key functions of the Marketing Science team is to partner with marketing groups across the organization and provide insight into how certain campaigns or campaign content perform. Marketing partners can use this source of truth to activate the right marketing assets at the right time, providing a hyper-focused experience for consumers. The framework itself bridges the gap between marketing brief and measurement execution, ensuring that the marketing science team answers the right questions with the most effective measurement technique in every campaign.
As in many organizations, a comprehensive understanding of marketing campaign performance requires analysis across paid, earned, and owned media. To build out a holistic decisioning framework, I worked closely with these teams to understand the breadth of their measurement capabilities related to campaign performance. Given my background in engineering and financial services consulting, much of what I learned on the project was new to me. I left my time at Nike with a far better understanding of marketing strategy execution and what an organization can discern about what is working well enabling them to efficiently budget marketing spend.
While I did learn an incredible amount over the summer, I felt extremely fortunate to have participated in a YCCI Discovery project in the semester prior. The foundation it provided gave me a head start in understanding the end-to-end process for insight generation. The class content itself taught by Nathan Novemsky, Ravi Dhar, and Treeny Ahmed covered topics spanning user research, competitive intelligence, consumer interviews, A/B test survey design, and data analysis. A knowledge of each one of these components was crucial to delivering effective marketing campaign measurement during my project.
The specific Discovery Project I worked on was with the LPGA. The goal of our project was to better understand consumer motivations for engaging with social media channels and to provide actionable insights for increased engagement across Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, and Facebook. Our team of five dug into the core of social media analysis and came out with a deep understanding of how and why users choose to engage. The work we did overlapped perfectly with that of the Earned Media team within Marketing Science. Especially for this portion of my project, I was able to quickly absorb and understand how campaign measurement can and should be executed. Bottom line, YCCI and the LPGA discovery project prepared me better than I could have ever expected to make the most of my time at Nike.
I had the opportunity to share the Nike Internship Experience with fellow SOMers Jackie Peszynski ’24 and Kelsey Niehoff ’24. Jackie also worked in Consumer Insights while Kelsey spent her summer in Sustainable Operations. Over the course of the summer, we had the opportunity to hear from incredible leaders, explore the massive World HQ campus, and spend way too much on shoes and apparel (maybe that was just me). But the absolute highlight was the multiple opportunities to chat with leaders in the Nike SB organization about skate, product, and culture, fueling a passion I’ve had since I was a little kid.
I am very thankful for an incredible summer opportunity at Nike and for having a great foundation from my YCCI Discovery Project experience.