Psychologist to Marketer, Part III: The Internship

In case you missed my previous posts on career switching and marketing classes at Booth, let me bring you up to speed. Prior to Booth, I trained as a clinical psychologist and worked as an assistant professor. Currently, I am a second year student at Booth pursuing a career in marketing. Over the summer, I was an associate brand manager intern with a large consumer packaged goods company. In this post, I will describe my internship experience in hopes that it will give you a sense of what an internship in brand management is like.

My internship lasted for 10 weeks, which is typical of internships in brand management. During that time, I was assigned a coach, a manager, and a buddy. My coach was an associate brand manager and I was his first direct report. He helped me learn the basics of working as a brand manager, connected me with resources, and provided guidance on the completion of my projects. My manager was a brand manager who had a function similar to my coach, but I spent less time with my manager than with my coach. My buddy was an associate brand manager. Her role was to be supportive and be someone I could bounce ideas off of. Informally, I found a lot of support through the Booth alumni network. Booth alums were more than willing to give me feedback on my projects, check-in on me, and, most importantly, take me out for a meal!

The internship involved two major projects: an analytical project and a strategic project. For the analytical project, I was asked to determine why a certain brand was doing well in some regions and not others. Professor Hitsch’s Data Driven Marketing class was very useful for this project. Using IRI data and insights from the cross-functional team, I showed that variables such as promotional strategy, price, and demographics predict sales. I presented my findings and recommendations to my team in the fourth week of internship. For the strategic project, I was asked to make recommendations for which new products the brand should pursue. To complete this project, I relied heavily on Mintel data, the consumer insights team, and the product development team. I loved being able to pull together insights from multiple sources to make recommendations for the business.

The best part of my internship was my fellow interns. I had the opportunity to work with nine other interns representing seven MBA programs and a variety of pre-MBA careers. During work, we spent a lot of time helping each other with our projects. I really valued the additional perspectives and moral support. In the evenings and on the weekends, we had a great time going out together to restaurants, bars, and sporting events. It was great to hang out with talented people with similar interests. 

The internship was a great learning experience for me. It gave me a sense of what it would be like to work in brand management, how to navigate a corporate environment, and what skills I need for a full-time position in marketing. Currently, I am looking for a full-time marketing position. I will keep you posted on my progress!

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