Tag Archives: Summer Internship

Sympathy for the Intern: an intro post

Please allow me to introduce myself, I am a man of unconventional taste. I am not the stereotypical Boothie, I have not recruited for banking nor management consulting. I do not understand NFL’s rules and do not live in MPP. So, if you expect to learn about Wall Street networking, I am sorry to disappoint you. I will be sharing my experiences at Booth from the eyes of a passionate nerd. Often enough, I will be writing about the Soccer Club, off-campus recruiting, life as an international student, the social scene, Innovation Consulting, Random Walk, long-distance relationships, and food.

Continue reading Sympathy for the Intern: an intro post

Challenging Everything: A Boothie’s Bogotá VC Internship Experience

William K. Lee is a rising second-year student at Chicago Booth. This summer he was an intern at Polymath Ventures, an innovative company builder in Bogotá, Colombia, and he shares some of his experiences in this interview. Prior to Booth, he worked as a software engineer for Bay Area Internet companies including eBay and Wikia. He came to Booth because he wanted to shift to the business and management sides of technology, so his summer internship gave him a great opportunity to practice the high-level skills he has developed in business school. Moreover, the opportunity allowed him to step out of his comfort zone and tackle new challenges in a new place. Will is active in the entrepreneurship scene at Booth and in Chicago and is a Co-Chair of the Booth Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital Group (EVC) for this coming year. Outside of school, Will is training for October’s Chicago Marathon (his sixth) and enjoys playing bar trivia with other Boothies.

–Matt Richman
 
Where did you work this summer and what was your role?
I worked in Bogotá, Colombia, at Polymath Ventures. Polymath designs and builds companies from the ground up that serve the needs of the middle class in emerging markets. This summer I was a technology advisor and product manager for one of Polymath’s companies, Táximo. Táximo is trying to reinvent the taxi industry in Latin America by making the customer experience safer and more convenient.
What are some resources you took advantage of at Booth that helped you land the job?
The Entrepreneurship concentration at Booth was instrumental in securing my summer internship. I first heard about the job opportunity from the newsletter of the Entrepreneurship & Venture Capital Group. Once I got the offer, I turned to the Entrepreneurial Internship Program (EIP) from Booth’s Polsky Center for further assistance. EIP offers grants to students like me who want to work at cash-strapped startups.
What was the highlight of your summer internship?
I was in charge of hiring a software developer. At first I tried the regular recruiting channels, such as posting on job websites, but they proved fruitless. The next step I took really threw me out of my comfort zone. I went to several software engineering Meetups in Bogotá in order to meet talented developers in person. I planned on attending just the events’ networking sessions, but I ended up participating in the interactive Spanish-language portions, too. Imagine trying to talk about Big Data with just high-school level Spanish! Nevertheless I am glad I got to experience these Meetups not just because they helped with recruiting but because they informed me about the startup scene in Colombia and connected me with tech entrepreneurs.
 
 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Will attending a tech Meetup at a Bogotá co-working space
Were there any transformative aspects of the experience that will help you structure your final year at Booth?
I thoroughly enjoyed the experience of working closely with company founders to advise them on technology issues. I liked drawing on my technical background and also pushing myself to think strategically. I would like to have a role like this after I graduate from Booth. This could be partnering with an entrepreneur for a startup or serving as advisor-in-residence at a startup incubator or accelerator. In my final year at Booth, I plan on participating in entrepreneurial activities and taking many entrepreneurship and general management courses, such as New Venture Strategy.
How was your Spanish before the internship? 
I studied Spanish for four years in high school, but it was very rusty when I landed in Colombia. This wasn’t a problem for work because my colleagues used English in the office. Still, I tried to improve my Spanish. I got involved in Spanish-English language exchanges and listened to podcasts. Now it’s pretty good—yesterday I tuned into a Spanish radio station and understood an announcement for a supermarket sale!
Did you get a chance to explore Bogotá and Colombia? What was your favorite experience outside of work?
Bogotá had a host of things to do this summer. I enjoyed going out into my neighborhood and discovering nice restaurants, hole-in-the-wall eateries, cafes, and bars. I also ran a lot this summer for marathon training, so I got to explore many parks and districts on foot. I created a Google map of my favorite places, which was a big hit around the office. I tried to break out of the city’s large expat scene by meeting locals through various channels. They were very friendly and invited me to special events like a wine expo and an outdoor rock festival. My favorite experience of the summer was spending a weekend in Medellín, Colombia’s second city. I enjoyed its fantastic weather, met its outgoing people, and reveled in its vibrant nightlife.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Will and another Polymath intern sampling some reds at a wine expo in Bogotá
How did your first year at Booth help you get the most out of your summer?
When I decided to pursue my summer internship at Polymath in Colombia, I took the Booth motto of “Challenge Everything” to heart. In my work, I used skills I developed in my first year coursework to perform extensive analysis on every claim I encountered. My colleagues appreciated the level of rigor I applied to my job. At a higher level, I challenged myself by taking the risk of working in an emerging market that I had known little about. The safe move would have been working for a startup in the Bay Area, where I’d lived for most of my life, where I planned to return after Booth, and where I would have formed connections seemingly more beneficial for my short-term goals. But conversations with faculty, second-year students, and industry professionals that I met on Booth-organized career treks helped me see that a summer in Colombia could be just as rewarding. I’m glad I chose Bogotá. Not only was it a unique life experience, it opened my eyes to the business opportunities there and gave me insights into entrepreneurship that will serve me well in my career (and which you can read about here). 

Diary of an Investment Banking Intern in the Big Apple

While some students come to Booth to transition into finance, others use their MBAs as a platform to take their finance skills and careers to another level. One such Booth student, Yvanna Pérez Morel, worked in M&A advisory in the Dominican Republic, her home country, before business school. This summer, she interned both at BofA Merrill Lynch (Investment Banking, Consumer & Retail) in New York and at Mesoamerica (Private Equity, Food & Beverage Portfolio) in Colombia. This coming year, Yvanna will participate in the exchange program with London Business School as part of the International MBA that she is pursuing at Chicago Booth. During her free time, she enjoys going to the beach, playing squash, and horseback riding in the mountains. 

Below, Yvanna recounts her whirlwind summer internship in banking in New York, and how Booth equipped her with the skills to succeed.

–Matt Richman

After ten weeks as an investment banking intern in the Big Apple, I can fully understand why people say that New York never sleeps – I didn’t! Here’s a quick summary of my busy days (and nights) since my last day at Booth – searching for knowledge in finance and a full-time offer.

As an investment banking intern my life revolved around the blinking red light on my corporate Blackberry, but in my experience, every minute was a new opportunity to learn on assignments including Hudson Bay’s acquisition of Saks Fifth Avenue, a high yield debt issuance for Carter’s, and a not-yet-public IPO. I honed technical skills such as modeling, got deeply immersed in industry-specific dynamics and strategies as a Consumer & Retail coverage banker, and observed the way senior bankers managed their client relationships.

Those interested in pursuing an investment banking track will find that Booth provides all that is needed for a successful summer:

1) Academic courses: Booth’s unique flexible curriculum allows students to choose courses such as Accounting and Financial Statement Analysis I & II (“Footnote Accounting” and “M&A Accounting”), Cases in Financial Management, and Cases in Corporate Governance, that prepare them for a great summer and a successful career in the financial services industry. YOU chart your learning path. While I had some experience in finance prior to Booth, taking advanced finance and accounting classes in my first year made me confident I could tackle anything technical that came up during the internship.

2) Career Services: This team works day and night to manage the relationships with the different banks and to make sure everyone is well-prepared for interviews through events such as weekend modeling courses by Training the Street (TTS) and “wInterview,” and facilitated some great sessions to give us the tools to be successful during the summer, once we landed the internship offer.

3) Investment Banking Group (IBG): A student-run group which works closely with Career Services, the IBG coordinates different initiatives for first year students to learn from second years’ experiences, from the industry-wide and bank-specific cultures to the dos and don’ts of getting a job in banking. I spent countless hours chatting with second years to get prepared for any challenges which might arise during the summer.

The summer was intense but also fun. Corporate events such as attending a Yankees baseball game with clients, having breakfast or lunch with senior bankers, playing kickball in Central Park with the team, and watching a Cirque du Soleil performance with other interns were a lot of fun and offered an opportunity for the firm to evaluate interns on interpersonal skills. Taking Professor Wortmann’s workshop on networking with senior executives showed me the implicit rules of the game, and allowed me to focus on having fun and asking the questions that I was genuinely interested in.

Of course, after an 18 hour a day, 7 day a week marathon, going out for a night was a must. Meeting Boothies working at other firms who understood my schedule (and probably had the same one) was just amazing! It was great to see some familiar faces and relax for a bit!

By the end of the summer, I got exactly what I wanted: I learned a lot, had fun, and, in case you were wondering, was fortunate enough to be extended an offer to return next year for a full-time job after graduating! Whether it was working, attending corporate events, or meeting friends for drinks in the Big Apple, the term “24/7” showed its true colors this summer. Here are some pictures of my personal experiences:

From top to bottom: Yankees game with clients, kickball with the team, Cirque du Soleil with interns and night out with other Boothies.

Booth Summer Consulting Experiences

Every year we get questions from prospective students about where our students go for their internships and what their experiences are like. We know a lot of you are interested in Consulting so we asked a few of our interns in the field to give their take on the summer. I hope you enjoy their perspectives!
 
Freddy


I spent the summer working at McKinsey in Chicago. I absolutely loved my team. My Engagement Manager was a Booth graduate, and I can’t believe how much trust he and the rest of my team placed in me to drive my own workstream. Hours were tough but fair, and I never worked a single weekend. Overall, it was an incredibly fulfilling work experience!

Miriam Goldberg
 

Before beginning classes at Booth, we’re constantly told that we’re learning how to think, not what to think. And it wasn’t really until this summer that I’ve realized what that meant. As a management consultant, I’ve benefited tremendously from the rigor, openness, and intensity of the classroom. These elements are what drive us to think critically, to share viewpoints, and most importantly, to challenge everything. And it’s also great that Booth students and alumni are everywhere!

Lu Zhang
 

This summer I spent time as a strategy consultant with The Boston Consulting Group (BCG). My summer experience focused on working with a national retailer to develop category and product strategies and deliver $50 million in cost savings. I had the chance to get to know my case team extremely well, including my Project Leader, who is an ex-body builder and Chicago Booth alum. Let’s just say I didn’t win the late night push-up contest among our case team. The knowledge gained from several of my classes at Booth, namely Marketing Strategy, Competitive Strategy, and Economics, came in very handy this summer. Remarkable problem solving, challenging client interactions, and tons of fun with my fellow interns filled my summer months. All in all, my BCG internship was nothing short of an amazing experience.

Dustin David Deas
 

I’ve never thought so hard in my entire life. Being a summer consultant has been the most challenging, interesting and intellectual work that I’ve ever done. The supportive team and dynamic environment echoes much of my experience at Booth, as does the openness to new ideas and approaches to solving problems.

Jenna Beletic
 

I spent the summer with Boston Consulting Group, based in Washington, DC but traveled weekly to New York City to work on a pharmaceutical case. The internship was a significant learning opportunity, not only because the job itself was new, but the industry is one in which I had no prior experience. Learning about pharma R&D and the challenges and new technological advances in the industry, and helping to recommend an innovative concept that could change part of the way R&D is conducted industry-wide, has been fascinating. Outside of the case, Booth alumni working in the DC office have been incredibly supportive in reaching out and volunteering to help me in any way I have needed throughout the summer.

Kathryn Leoni
 

My internship experience was wonderful. I was staffed on the project that I was most interested in, and our team worked directly with the President of Marketing for our client—a major global technology company. I attended and was involved in our presentation to him at the end of my internship. Along with gaining experience presenting and building a business case for important decisions, I have been able to explore Korea and learn about the different industries in which the client operates. On one field trip we toured the company’s shipbuilding yard, and stayed in a traditional Korean pension, sleeping on the floor and eating traditionally cooked Korean BBQ. This experience has not only given me insight into what it is like to be a consultant, but it has also given me experience working in a different country.

Richard Carey
 

I worked on a post spin-off procurement project for a specialty pharma client. A lot of the work I do revolves around negotiation strategy and decision modeling. My Strategies and Processes of Negotiation class was critical for me to develop sound strategies for the client and my Competitive Strategy class gave me a serious edge in thinking about the models from an economic perspective.

Jorge de Azevedo
 

I worked on a due diligence project for a technology company attempting to enter a new market through inorganic growth. I really enjoyed getting to know a new industry and helping a client tackle its most difficult problem. On the other side, the hours were long (multiple all-nighters), but my team was fantastic and it was a pleasure to work with them. Booth alumni have reached out every step of the way and my marketing strategy class with Prof. Sanjay Dhar was definitely a great class to take before my internship. Since I was a teacher before Booth, my accounting classes were really useful and saved my butt when I was asked to dig through company financials.

Freddy A. Elorza
 

My summer internship experience at Deloitte followed the traditional management consulting schedule: up at 5am Monday morning to rush to the airport, return home Thursday evening, and work in the downtown Chicago office on Friday. The internship gave me the opportunity to see things as differently as possible from my prior experience: the travel model, team-based projects, and the experience of working in a huge firm for another large company. I’ve found this change of vantage points incredibly helpful. Deloitte also provides the opportunity to work as part of a large class of interns, many of whom are from Chicago Booth. I’ve bumped into several classmates, acquaintances, and co-workers at the airport, and even in the hotel lobby, which makes for a fun end to the night.


Joshua McConnell

Booth Networking in Unexpected Places

Hongtae Kim worked in investment banking in Hong Kong prior to coming to Booth. He was an undergraduate at the University of Chicago and decided to return mainly because he loved the academic atmosphere of the University of Chicago and Booth, and enjoyed the city and the Chicago Bulls. He is concentrating in Marketing, Strategy, and Entrepreneurship at Booth, and will be working at AccuRadio, an internet-radio startup based in Chicago, over the summer.


His story shows that in order to land your ideal internship, it sometimes requires patience, motivation, and a little luck—coupled with leveraging the huge, diverse, and generous Booth alumni network.  While Booth alumni are well-represented in finance, consulting, and corporate fields, the independent and entrepreneurial nature of our students and alumni means that you can find us in unexpected places.

–Matt Richman

Coming to Booth, one of the most common pieces of advice I got was to fully utilize the Booth alumni network. As an international student, I was a bit skeptical of how much I would be able to leverage the alumni network and didn’t know how I was supposed to do it. On top of that, I was looking into a music-related career path which isn’t a “traditional” post-MBA field.


While it sounds like a cliché, the Booth alumni network is everywhere and willing to help you out, and you could encounter alums in some random places.  For instance, I met Kurt Hanson, Class of 1980, in San Francisco at the SF Music Tech Summit  which is a conference for music tech startups. I had decided to fly to SF to make connections and learn about what’s going on in the industry, but I wasn’t expecting to meet any MBAs, let alone Booth alums.  Naturally, when I bumped into Kurt (by accident) at the cocktail networking session, we were both pleasantly surprised to meet someone from Booth at the event. Kurt was invited as a panelist as a veteran in the radio industry and the Founder / CEO of AccuRadio, an internet-radio start-up based in Chicago. We casually talked about Booth, our backgrounds and the conference, and the following week, Kurt invited me to visit his office in Chicago. We continued our discussion on the music tech industry over dinner.

After a couple of meetings, I asked if I could work for his company over the summer as an intern, and he was excited to have me on board. Like most start-up recruiting, there was no formal vetting or interview process. He talked about his company and his views of the industry and I expressed my strong interest in the business. I also identified a couple of areas in which I could help the company as an MBA intern. I will be working in a broad range of projects including revamping the company’s search engine marketing efforts, supporting fund raising efforts, and identifying international business opportunities. While the projects are varied, I am certain that the range of my summer experience will help my transition from banking into technology. I am very excited about the opportunity, as the company sits in the exact field I was pursuing, and I will have the autonomy to define my own projects and apply my classroom studies to my summer internship.


When it comes to networking, especially if you have a narrow target list, I think the most important thing is to be aggressive and seek out different venues, rather than relying solely on the on-campus recruiting process. My decision to fly out to San Francisco to attend a conference that fit my interest was what made the difference for me. I ended up meeting a potential mentor in the music tech industry and a Booth alum who was happy to help me out. Especially as a career switcher, having first-hand interaction with an insider helps you express your interest and make a case for yourself.

I am looking forward to my summer in Chicago, especially after going through four winters in Chicago! More importantly, I am excited to get great experiences and networking during my summer that will help me achieve my career goal of carving a niche position in the evolving music tech industry.