Friday, June 19, 2015

Summer Internship Series: Francesca, Ike and Jen

This week we hear from Francesca Pat-Ekeji,  Ike Okose and Jen Abalajon, who are working in 3 of my favorite cities!!

Francesca is concentrating in Supply Chain Management and is based in Austin, TX this summer...

"This summer I’m interning at Dell in Austin, Texas. I’m working with the team that handles planning and strategy for global operations aptly titled ‘Global Ops. Planning & Strategy’. The first week was a boot camp of sorts followed by 2 weeks of shadowing different members of my team to learn the data, lingo and culture. I’m in the 3rd week now and have spent most of my week interviewing different stakeholders invested in my project to make sure that I’m approaching my task from many different angles and synthesizing all that information to discover where the areas of opportunity are. The learning curve is steep because we deal with dynamic data and a lot of variables, however I’m taking it one day at a time and asking a lot of questions. Outside of my team and project, the networking has been great and that’s one of the things I really like about Dell.  Anyone is willing to sit for 30 minutes and talk to an intern and if you’re from a foreign country, there’s bound to be someone –or in my case like 25- here from your home country.

I live a 10-minute walk away from my office in round rock and the weather has been pretty nice so I’ve been walking to and from work. It’s quite sub-urban, which can mean long trips to the downtown area in search of fun and frivolity on the weekends. In terms of major summer plans, besides seeing as many musicians as I possibly can, I’d really like to drive up to San Antonio and explore for a day. I’m keeping my plans flexible though because the best plans tend to come together when you’re not fixated on them." 

Ike is a Finance student working in NYC...

"This summer, I am working in midtown Manhattan at AdvancePublications.  You may not know the company, but I’m sure you know some of their products.  Some of their products include GQ, VanityFair, Vogue, and Allure magazines, and some of you may also be familiar with  I am working as an intern in the finance group, and I will have the opportunity to work on projects in areas like Treasury, Financial Planning & Analysis, and Tax. 

I started at Advance Publications on June 8th, so I’m relatively new here, but they have me working on a couple things while I get familiar with their reporting processes and systems.  One project I’m currently working on is analyzing our competitors, or benchmarking, to not only determine how well we are doing in our respective industries, but also to help determine targets to create a budget for 2016.  Another project they currently having me work on is trying to determine how much we should plan to spend on 401K expenses by month for next year based on 2014 and 2015 data.  These projects are very interesting and engaging, and I’m really starting to learn a lot here in such a short time. 

Though I’m just starting out here, I can tell I will learn a lot from this internship, and I’m excited to get to work on some of the tasks they will have me doing.  The short commute from my apartment in Hoboken is also very nice!"

Jen specializes in Marketing and is working in Princeton, NJ...

"This summer I’m doing the 10-week MBA marketing internship program at Bristol-Myers Squibb in Princeton, NJ.  Currently, BMS has a robust pipeline in the area of immuno-oncology, which uses drugs that work with your body’s own immune system to help fight cancer.  Not only is BMS a leader in this space, but these new advances in immunotherapy are truly revolutionizing the way cancer is treated, which is one reason why BMS is a very exciting place to be.  Another reason is a recent company-wide initiative to put the patient at the center of everything they do.  If you’ve ever taken Branning’s US Healthcare class, you would truly appreciate this.  Especially for patients fighting cancer, you can imagine how much of an impact a comprehensive patient support program could have, given the severity of condition, complexity of treatment and the emotionally tolling nature of the experience.  BMS wants to be there for the patient every step of the way and that’s why I’m spending my summer working with the digital marketing team to develop a patient CRM* platform for the immuno-oncology franchise.  

BMS functions as a matrix organization, so one of the biggest challenges of this project is gaining alignment on the concept of the program with seemingly disparate groups who have varying interests when you don’t have any formal power.  One employee likened it to herding cats.  Not to mention project managing several internal groups and external vendors to actually execute the program.  I’m seriously learning a ton and so far, I have fallen in love with marketing because there are just so many roles you can have, from digital to analytics to product management.  Marketing is certainly for big-picture people who can juggle many things (including personalities)!"

*CRM stands for customer relationship management and refers to practices, strategies and technologies that companies use to manage, record and analyze customer interactions and data throughout the marketing lifecycle in order to drive sales growth by deepening and enriching relationships with their customer bases. (Definition taken from TechTarget)

Thanks for reading and see you same time next week! 

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