Friday, July 31, 2015

Summer Internship Series: Nura, Danny and Rupa

Hi all! I can't believe that tomorrow is already August!!! This summer is really flying by! Anyways, this week Nura Ghoneim, Daniel Papir and Rupa Banerjee are here sharing their internship experiences with us. Enjoy!

Nura, who is concentrating in Strategy and Entrepreneurship, writes all the way from Cairo, Egypt...

"This summer I decided to follow my heart to Cairo, Egypt. The past two months I have had the pleasure of interning with the Innovation Team at the United Nations DevelopmentProgram (UNDP). I was not originally aiming to intern in the innovation department, but was placed there due to my MBA specializations of Strategy and Entrepreneurship. The innovation team in Cairo is one of the highest recognized active teams in all UNDPs across the globe and has managed to create projects that have made substantial differences to Egypt’s development of an entrepreneurial spirit.

As an intern I am exposed to a diverse set of projects with the ability to choose which ones I see most fitting to work on, naturally I chose those dealing with entrepreneurs. During the start of my internship I had the pleasure of working with underprivileged men and women from various parts of the country, coming to share their ideas on the development of their country. As an intern I was responsible for documenting the outcomes of each activity and assisting the potential entrepreneurs with solutions to problems that arise when wanting to start a business. I was not only exposed to pitches (some great, some not so great), but also to a vast amount of exciting ideas that inspired me to help those whom are willing to grow and be better (which in turn will allow me to grow and be better). The team and I were involved with following up with teams and assisting them in further developing their ideas that have the potential to make it to the market.

My experience thus far has given me great exposure to the business side of the NGO/social sector. On a more cultural side, I spent most of my interning experience fasting for the month of Ramadan, and nothing is better than breaking one’s fast in a country where millions of others are also breaking their fast at the same exact time! (Literally millions) Last but not least, if anyone’s looking for a beautiful beach getaway, Egypt is the place to be! (I’ll protect you)"

Daniel, a Marketing and Strategy student, is working in Parsippany, NJ this summer...

"This summer, I am a Category Marketing intern at GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare in Parsippany, NJ. GSK is the maker of prdoucts many of you have at home, including TUMS, Sensodyne, and AquaFresh. My project is to create a digital content strategy for Abreva cold sore treatment that could be scaled globally. I spent a lot of time learning about cold sores, cold sore sufferers, and  their digital habits. Of course, I’m not working on it alone. Our agencies and specialists are incredible resources that are answering my questions, pointing me in the right direction, and giving me great ideas. All that is coming together to hopefully create a strategy that will engage and entertain  our target audience.

As a Category Marketing intern, it took some time to start thinking from a Category perspective. It was important for me to realize that the commercials and campaigns we know and love begin as a overarching global strategy. Local markets then personalize those strategies to fit that market – that’s why campaigns and commercials could vary from country to country.

My project aside, GSK has given me and the other interns several opportunities to have coffee with the CMO and chat about our projects and anything else on our minds. We also went to one of our ad agencies to learn how a campaign evolves from an idea to final editing. Next week, I will be going to a film shoot for a 15 second iVideo commercial (those ads that play before you watch a YouTube  video). The summer has flown by unbelievably quickly. It’s hard to believe in 2 weeks, we’ll be presenting our projects to senior leaders. After that, I look forward to relaxing until the Fall semester begins, which is even harder to believe." 

Rupa, specializing in Supply Chain Management, is also working in NJ this summer...

"This summer, at Novartis, I experienced enormous compassion and heat felt dedication of a group of extremely motivated professionals helping the world to live a normal life because normal life is extraordinary!

As a strategic sourcing intern, with a focus on corporate spend, I worked on a couple of different super exciting projects. One of the most visible projects was around proposing and implementing a strategy to efficiently manage the external workforce across division, functions and operations. This gave me incredible exposure to collaborating with stakeholders from several different categories at the global level. This involved understanding the current landscape, identifying issues, risks and inefficiencies, proposing strategy to solve the problem and building a plan around partnering with business partners across organization to implement the solution. The best thing about this project was the experience of working with two super cool mentors who coached me, encouraged me and empowered me-best mentors ever!!!

My second project was around strategizing the fleet operations focusing on cost, efficiency, accident management and safety. It was fabulous to learn about the latest automobile technology, telematics and autonomous driving (which for the most part is still a concept!)

And the coolest thing was my adventurous trip to Texas where I experienced a lot of things for the first time in my life: hurricane, getting into a ditch, calling 911, getting towed, missing my flight, yet  making sure that I brought back home my first cowboy cap! :-)

Not just this, I had a fabulous experience visiting the Cart-19 manufacturing facility in Morris Plains, NJ. It really made me believe Novartis is pushing the boundaries of science to transform the lives of cancer patients all over the world.

In a nutshell, it was a summer very well spent with a lot of work, friends, fun, adventure and a ton of learning."

Summer is coming to a close, but we will have one more post next week about summer internships. Stay tuned! Oh and good luck to all of you who have final presentations next week!

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