Graduate Blog / Career Development

Putting the MBA to the Test at My Summer Internship

After toiling through the hectic first year of the Babson MBA, the only thing on my mind was, “What am I going to do with all this knowledge?” The best way to put this to test was with a summer internship.

With some assistance from Babson’s Center for Career Development I landed a marketing internship at PUR – a Helen of Troy company. I worked with some great people. Here’s how I added value to the company by applying concepts learned in the Babson classroom:

It’s all about the strategy

The strategy class from Mod 1 was of the most important and impactful. The case studies we read, which spanned a plethora of industries and department verticals, prepared me to help identify a competitive advantage that could be created, sustained and exploited.

On the first day of my internship, while sitting in a meeting of marketing and sales executives, I happened to mention a supply chain activity Walmart uses which could be applied in a similar context. Not only did it grab everyone’s attention, but also helped me build credibility from the first day. Thank you, Professor Wang.

Tableau & Excel are your best friends

=IF(ISNUMBER(SEARCH(” Candidate is proficient at excel”,)),”Hire”,”No”). I don’t mean to sound too geeky, but vlookups, pivot tables, rolling averages and knowing how to calculate NPVs are considered basic “skills” today.The more you pay attention to basic shortcuts and application of different functions in DMD and Finance courses, the easier it is to handle daily tasks at work.

Every additional formula I used in my sheets to clean up Nielsen consumer data earned me brownie points at my internship. But what really set me above the rest was knowing how to work with Tableau.

As part of the Global Connections Through Technology course in Mod 3, professor Mancha, held a Tableau workshop. It was my first interaction with the software. It’s pretty intuitive; the more you play with it, the better it gets. I had to present my findings from a market sizing project to the management team. Every manager is used to seeing the basic excel and PPT charts, so when you add the visualizations from Tableau in your PPT, even the most senior team member will call you in their office after, share a compliment, and ask “How did you do it?”.

Don’t forget CLEO

No matter how skilled you are at handling software, soft skills are what create a lasting impression. ‘Creating & Leading Effective Organizations,” also known as CLEO (a course taught in Mod 3) prepares you to be a good manager and an effective team player. I learned the most effective ways to work and get work done. It was easy to identify different management styles present in the workplace and pick out the best qualities from each to implement them while working with my team. CLEO helped me form more than workplace connections and build helpful networks.

The application of concepts from school earned me an extension and I am continuing to work with PUR in the fall semester. I am excited to apply the concepts from my Consumer Behavior elective at work and keep impressing my team with learnings from the classroom.