During the summer between my first and second year at Booth, I was a marketing intern for the Tropicana team at PepsiCo’s Chicago offices. For my intern project, I was tasked with evaluating the brand’s opportunity within the multicultural consumer segments and developing and recommending a go-to-market strategy. Many of the marketing principles and fundamentals that I had learned throughout my first year of classes applied directly to my project and played a big role in how I approached the work.
Before starting my internship in marketing, I was both excited to get back to the workforce, but also terrified how this role could impact my post-MBA position. Making a good impression was extremely important because my performance during the internship determined whether I would secure the full-time offer. And unfortunately, many of the larger companies with marketing roles do not necessarily re-recruit in the fall for full-time, so I did not want to screw it up!
The good news is that the marketing courses at Booth really prepared me to succeed on Day 1 during my internship. I learned a lot during my experience in pharmaceutical marketing this summer and here are the top three reasons why marketing was valuable during my internship.
For those of us who want to pursue careers in marketing and product management, Chicago Booth and the Kilts Center for Marketing prepare us for our summer internships, and ultimately our full-time positions. In this series, a couple of my classmates and I share how Booth helped us achieve success in our dream jobs.
Over last summer, I interned as a product manager at TripAdvisor on the Restaurants team. As this was my first professional experience in product management, I relied on many of the marketing skills I learned at Booth during my first year in order to have a successful internship.
In this second installment of our Booth through the decades series, we speak with Earl Van Zyl, ’07, who works in investment management in South Africa. Earl chose to pursue his MBA despite the observed differences in educational expectations between South Africa and the US. Whilst the chartered accounting qualification is a more popular and recognized post-graduate degree in his home country, Earl saw a unique need for and opportunity in pursuing the Booth MBA: here is his take on how his experience stands out from the rest.
I have always been fascinated by computers. You press a button, and magical things can happen. For example, you can submit an application to business school 5,000 miles away (of course, then you realize there was a typo on your resume… unfortunately, human error is still a factor and time traveling back to fix it is still something computers can’t do). People who could actually write code were like gods to me. At the same time, I never had enough focus to become one myself—instead, I embarked on a business path, getting degrees in economics and financial management, and later working in consulting. And, although I had tried to teach myself to code, without direction and a real goal to work towards, I had never gone beyond the basics. But the passion has never gone away.