Second-Year Students Describe their Internship Experiences
At the beginning of each year, returning Yale SOM students sit on panels to discuss their summer internships with the newly arrived first-year class. They tell stories about the work they did at places as varied as Goldman Sachs, McKinsey, Google, PepsiCo, and the Global Fund for Children. Just as important, they give tips on how to navigate the internship process. "You’ve got to hustle from the first day," said Tomer Cohen ’11, who interned at Goldman Sachs. "You need to spend a lot of Fridays in New York networking with alums. You want to get to interview day with people already on your side."
Through the Career Development Office, students are coached through every aspect of the internship search, from preparing their résumés, to networking to interviewing. Students at the panels praised the CDO for the key role it played in helping them land their preferred summer positions. They cited workshops, one-on-one counseling, CDO-sponsored speakers, and the deep connections with employers that the office has developed over the years.
While the second-year students encouraged the incoming class to avail themselves of all that the CDO offers, they also recommended drawing on the resources present in the student body. SOM boasts around 50 clubs, many of which focus on a particular field and can be invaluable in helping students find the best internships. Mudit Jaju ’11, who interned at global advertizing giant Interpublic Group, praised the role of the Marketing Club in preparing students to face recruiters. On a basic level, he said, the club teaches students to speak the language of marketing and offers tips on the kind of questions asked in interviews. But the key thing, Jaju said, is how the club helped create an environment where students were able to focus on the search with the kind of seriousness it deserves. "Every week, a couple other students and I would go into a room and practice our interviews," he said. "We did it without fail. You don’t even need to spend a lot of time doing it each week. What matters is that it’s regular. It needs to be like another course."
Jeremy Foster ’11, who interned at Pacific Gas & Electric, said that the Energy Club played a huge role in landing his internship. Like other clubs at SOM, the Energy Club plans job treks each year to key cities such as Houston, Boston, and San Francisco, where students get to meet with alumni and executives at top companies. "It makes a huge difference to get out and meet people in person,” he said. “In San Francisco we met with eight companies in two days. We met with people at utilities, with investors, with manufacturers. We heard many different viewpoints and made key contacts. I think it’s no coincidence SOM students are doing really well in the energy space."
Dean Sharon Oster has made it a priority to reach out to alumni at prominent companies who could hire interns. This activity was crucial in Michael Barjum ’11 ending up at private equity firm Charlesbank Capital. While he had offers from top Wall Street and venture capital firms, Barjum’s first choice was a private equity firm, which rarely recruit MBA candidates. But through Oster’s efforts, an alumnus at Charlesbank saw Barjum’s résumé and brought him in for an interview. He was hired as the first summer intern in years. "The dean really went to bat for us," he said.