Entering business school, I set a goal to work for top brand Tech Company in a product role. I spent all of my time targeting product roles with household names; consulting was not something I thought I wanted to do. My Innovation for Humanity (I4H) experience changed all that. Shortly after landing in Peru, I switched into work mode. Our client was facing its own challenges and could only allocate 1 hour every other day for us. We had to be super-efficient and use our face time wisely. At the end of the 3rd day our project was 90% done; all we had to do was iterate with the client. The project was a smashing success. We were asked by two other sponsors if we were willing to share it with them, and were told by a leading NGO that if we ever commercialize it, they’ll be willing to pay for it.
Riding that high I was approached by my career coach (Katy) about a Deloitte position for which I should apply. Katy knew me well; I’ve been visiting her office regularly (at least once every two weeks) and was constantly working on her notes. I applied and was invited to blitz day. Eventually, I signed the offer. I spent my summer working as a Summer Associate with Deloitte Digital. The intern program is designed to give you a leg up when you return after your second year at school. You’re encouraged to reach out to as many people and create a network.
I came prepared
During orientation we were tasked with a group case; we had to analyze it as a team using Deloitte’s methods and present it to leadership. The method is identical to the methods used in the Carey Solving Organizational Problems class. While some people were using it for the first time, I felt prepared to identify the problem and design a solution. In addition, to have longevity at Deloitte requires that you constantly expand and develop your network. People will give you the time, but nothing is handed to you. Very similar to the experience of going to a new business school. Networking is a muscle: the more you use it the better you preform.
I came to work
Much like with I4H, my first task was 90% done within a week of receiving it. I want to say that it is because of a master plan to impress, but truthfully, it is because I’m a nerd. I spent most of my weekend playing with Tableau and Excel, thinking about data. By Sunday night I sent it out and started to iterate on it. Doing so put me in a great position. I was free to take on more things, meet more people, and truly find out if I am cut out for this environment. When talking with people I was able to say, “Sure, send it over, I have time.” It led to an engagement with the Consulting Innovation team working on applying disruptive technologies and business models to different market offerings.
I came to have fun
I wanted to learn if this is something I want to do after school. Let’s face it, looking for a job sucks. No one wants another year of job hunting; everyone wants to go back to school with an offer at hand. An internship is a 10-week job tryout where you feel you are constantly being watched. Let that go. Be yourself. Oscar Wilde once said “Be yourself, everyone else is taken.” If you are yourself and you are not invited to come back, than the company is not a good fit for you. But if you are extended an offer, you’ll be at a better position to evaluate if it is good for you. Have fun with it. Reach out to people, extend yourself. Participate in as many different activities as possible. Buy in. At the end (and only at the end) decide if this is what you want to do.