MBA, 3 months in – Sanibh Aryan

Sanibh

I write this, at the end of a well-deserved break. Three months of the first semester and the entire class learnt what Dean Brian meant by “Soaring with the eagles”.

Having spent 5 years as a consultant in India, I thought it was about time I got a business education. I spoke to my mentors and took the plunge. The entire process of application building started and I applied to schools primarily known well in the consulting world. It was a tough time, I was taking the GMAT in one city, and filing my applications to each school from another one, and interviewing in the next. Within my limited number of applications Emory was on the top. Firstly because of the intimate environment that helps build a strong community. And also because it was in Atlanta, not just from the perspective of Atlanta being a large city with large corporations headquartered here, but also because of its “small townish” charm; tree lined roads, niche restaurants, and wonderful people. I knew this would be home for at least 2 years to come, why not take up one of the best cities to live in.

Now that I am here, I don’t regret my decision one bit. From the start the first semester was intense; with rigour being a very visible core value. The term started with team building activities at the Camp Twin Lakes where we were challenged to push our limits in an outdoor setting and expected to get comfortable with our new teams. My team consists of dynamic individuals with various backgrounds who bring a lot to the table for each of our class practicums. The courses in the first semester are essentials required to build a fundamental platform for the rest of the two years. My class consists of 40 odd percent international students, global in every sense and a representation of work and life experiences that become evident during class discussions. The faculty is immensely experienced, supportive and helpful; and being a small school, they remember your names, always a great feeling for someone who comes from a large undergraduate university setting. While academics are a part of life, so is fun; with KEGS ( a social event built around a beer and friends) every Thursday, and other activities promoted by the student government body and program office to help students and especially international students acclimatize to the new environment.

All things equal, I must say that Emory carries a huge brand in the perspective of the recruiters. We have already had several visits and networking activities with major consulting firms and other organisations; a sizeable part of the class has landed internships for the summer.

Overall in the past three months I have learnt above and beyond the books. My abilities to work with teams and individuals continues to improve as we head into the last phase of the first semester.

Winter is setting in and its getting cold, but here in the ATL, the sun always comes out.

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2014 Summer Internships (Leadership & General Management) – Daniel Atkins

 

Dan Atkins

Name: Daniel Atkins

Company: AT&T

Position: Leadership Development Program Intern / General Management

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Questions:

What’s a day in the life of your internship?

Meetings, emails, networking, sharing ideas and making decisions.  Repeat.

Do you like it? Is it a fit?

I like the job a lot.  This is the first job I ever had where I can look at the time an hour before I go home and not dread every remaining minute.  Previously, I was a bridge engineer and the outcome of my work was really cool.  I can say I designed several bridges but the work was tedious and boring.  My job now is the opposite. What I am working on isn’t that sexy but I get a lot of energy and really pumped in the day to day work.  Now that I have a few bridges built I prefer getting a kick out of the day in and day out work.

Which class at Goizueta prepared you most for your internship?

Management Practice and Leadership courses.  Finance, strategy and marketing courses have all helped but the MP classes have had the most direct impact on my internship.

What advice would you give to a 1-year or a 1st year who wants to follow the same path or company?

What I did was stumble my way into it and was pleasantly surprised by the outcome.  Unfortunately, that makes for terrible advice.  What I did right was be myself and accentuate my strengths and desires in the interviews.  AT&T saw that I was a good fit for them and it turned out that they are a really good fit for me.

How helpful was CMC in helping you secure your internship?

I credit my securing my internship to two things.  The CMC and an animal sacrifice I made to Zeus.  Since I am fairly certain that Zeus doesn’t really exist it was probably just the CMC that got me the internship.  They gave me great tips and coaching and even made an extra phone call that solidified the job offer for me.

What did you wish you knew before going into the internship?

I actually started the internship ready to go and feel like I was able to contribute right away.  Most people there do not realize that I am an intern and I just ran with it.  I act like I have 5 years of experience at AT&T and only share that I am in intern for networking purposes.

What did you NOT expect?

The amount of meetings I  would be involved in.  AT&T is strict about the interns only working 40 hours and meetings really limit how much time I have to pound away at spreadsheets or brainstorming on my own.  I also did not expect how friendly everyone at AT&T would be.  It is extremely easy to network there and to build my knowledge of the industry by chatting with experienced professionals.

Please tell us if candidates can reach out to you.(Yes/No)

Yes.

Additional Comments

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2014 Summer Internships (Consulting) – DJ Singleterry

DJ SingleterryName: DJ SINGLETERRY

Company: BAIN & COMPANY

Position: Management Consulting/ Summer Associate

 

 

 

 

 

 

Questions:

What’s a day in the life of your internship?

Every day busy and offers a chance to learn something new. From the day I kicked-off my case, my days are filled learning as much as I can about the client, my work stream and developing hypothesizes on how to solve our clients most pressing issues. Every day I am amazed at how much access I have to senior leaders both at Bain and the client, shook hands with the CCO on my second day J. The days start early and often end with something to finish up after dinner, however the work is exciting and it keeps me engaged to help the deliver results for our client.

Do you like it? Is it a fit?

Yes and yes. The opportunity to start a career in management consulting is the reason came back to business school and so far it had met all of my expectations. And while I like the work, a lot, the people at Bain are what makes the experience so enjoyable. I enjoy being surrounded by smart, motivated people because I believe it helps to keep me active and learning.

Which class at Goizueta prepared you most for your internship?

Goizueta Marketing Strategy Consultancy (GMSC) and Leading Organizations and Strategy (LOS)

What advice would you give to a 1-year or a 1st year who wants to follow the same path or company?

Start your preparation early… network, case, network, case… and then repeat. Ensure you are properly prepared for case interviews so you can focus your energy on articulating your unique value proposition closer to the interviews. Also, understand the types of WORK and CLIENTS for each of the firms and how they differ by asking 2nd years and recent graduates.

How helpful was CMC in helping you secure your internship?

The CMC was very helpful. They helped to put me into contact with the recruiter for my current employer the summer before I began school and I kept building the relationship throughout the school year.

What did you wish you knew before going into the internship?

N/A

What did you NOT expect?

A couple things. I did not expect everyone at the company to be so extremely friendly and outgoing. I did not expect to be working on such a high-level project for a Fortune 50 Company. I did not expect to shake hands with the CCO of the company on Day Two. I did not expect to have so much fun working hard, and I did not expect to learn so much so quickly.

Please tell us if candidates can reach out to you.(Yes/No)

Yes

 

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2014 Summer Internships (Marketing) – Noelia Bare

Noelia BareName: Noelia G. Bare

Company: YUM! Brands – Pizza Hut

Position: Marketing Strategy & Innovation 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Questions:

What’s a day in the life of your internship?

I get in at 8:00 and leave at 5:30. The entire company has summer hours which means we get to leave at 1:00 on Fridays which is really great. The first thing I do is look at all of the marketing websites and see if there are new articles that talk about our competitors, new innovation and best in class marketing practices. I do this for about 15-30 minutes. Then I start going through my research deck, making sure that it is as clear as possible and that my ideas make sense. I have many meetings during the day to confirm my ideas, for feedback and to gain business insights. I NEVER GO TO LUNCH ALONE. I set up one-on-one meetings with people from all types of departments. Lunch is the best time to grab people and to build my network. We also have many lunch and learns with the entire company too including KFC, Taco Bell, and Global. After lunch, I go back to working on my project from initial research to strategy to different activation tools. I also leave the afternoon to talk to external clients like agencies and suppliers.

Do you like it? Is it a fit?

I do! This project consists of implementing a marketing strategy and creating an innovation pipeline for packaging! What a huge job to give to me! AND THIS IS MY PROJECT. I AM THE ONLY ONE WORKING ON IT. My coach gave me this project which consisted of strategy, creative, innovation and secondary research and I had to structure this project and decide what to do when and who to contact when. My coach definitely guided me when I asked for help but she treated me like one of the team. Gave me a project and expected me to keep her updated. People are so helpful and they want you to learn but they also want to challenge you and they will push back on you so you can think better and greater. This job is definitely a fit.

Which class at Goizueta prepared you most for your internship?

GMSC and Management Practice. Let me just say that without these classes, I would be nothing!

What advice would you give to a 1-year or a 1st year who wants to follow the same path or company?

Do your research on the company you want to go to. Make sure it is a fit culturally. Also, talk to different people in the company and see their if answers remain consistent. One of the biggest things I would look at is the structure of the internship because some have 3 small projects or one big project.

How helpful was CMC in helping you secure your internship?

The Consortium and actually working with CMC to bring YUM! Brands on campus helped me make my decision.

What did you wish you knew before going into the internship?

How hot it was in Texas.

What did you NOT expect?

I did not expect I would be given a huge project to do. I also did not think that I could watch the World Cup on a big screen in the café while I worked on my project. Yeah!

Please tell us if candidates can reach out to you.(Yes/No)

YES

Additional Comments

Make sure you have fun as well and get to know the other interns because time goes by so fast.

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2014 Summer Internships (Human Capital) – Naomi Johnson

Prof Pic

Name: Naomi Johnson

Company: General Mills

Position: Human Capital/Strategic HR

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Questions:

What’s a day in the life of your internship?

Arrive at 8:00am and leave at 4:45pm. My busier days consist of about 5 meetings…a lunch meeting with an HR stakeholder, a  coffee chat with a company VP or director, one or two meetings with employee network leaders, and one or two meetings with a  member of the Global Inclusion & Staffing team.

Do you like it? Is it a fit?

I love it! It’s been a great fit so far— my project is very much consulting assignment… the problem that I’m working to solve is very  ambiguous and requires a lot of analysis. I have a very small amount of time to understand the company, industry, and context for change. I have to ensure that my recommendations are thorough yet realistic and innovative yet sustainable. Ultimately, the success of my recommendations will depend on whether I can get buy-in from key stakeholders throughout all levels of the company. As a result, I’ve spent a substantial amount of time organizing meetings to build and leverage meaningful relationships throughout General Mills. I have a lot of ownership over my thoughts and ideas and the freedom to flesh out an idea from conception to implementation. Given my background as a classroom teacher, I’ve naturally enjoyed these elements of business. On top of loving the work that I’m doing, the culture at General Mills is phenomenal.

Which class at Goizueta prepared you most for your internship?

Management Practice, Competitive Advantage

What advice would you give to a 1-year or a 1st year who wants to follow the same path or company?

General Mills has a legacy of leadership and integrity; they’re an enormous company full of support and opportunity. However, if you’re not passionate about them, they’re going to find it hard to be passionate about you. Really work to define the type of work you want to do and the type of company that you want to work on. Try and find the right “fit” from the people you’ll work with down to hours that you’ll have to work every day.

My advice: 1) Talk in depth with alums and/or current students who are already connected to the company/pathway. They can help you ask and answer tough questions that help to evaluate whether the company is a good fit for you. 2) Figure out what stimulates you and then make sure that the company/pathway actually offers that. Make sure that what matters to you, also matters to the company/pathway. The only way to do this is to ask a bunchhh of questions to a bunchhh of different people and then listen for the truth.

Especially for HR/Human Capital, understanding whether the company either views HR as a strategic business partner or human capital as a priority is paramount.

How helpful was CMC in helping you secure your internship?

My first encounter with General Mills was at the Consortium Conference known as OP. The CMC was instrumental in making sure that all Consortium students were prepared to excel and succeed at OP.

What did you wish you knew before going into the internship?

The ratio between collaborate work vs. individual work. Although we do a lot of group work at Goizueta, my internship has required a substantial amount of individual work and independent thinking. I rarely have the luxury of consulting a peer before having to move forward with a thought or idea.

What did you NOT expect?

I did not expect to be trusted with solving such an important business problem. Sometimes it’s hard to believe that I am developing a strategy that impacts the entire company, at every level. Every colleague that I’ve talked to is excited about the work that I’m doing because it’s that relevant and critical to the company’s success in the future. General Mills expects to implement my recommendations immediately, forcing me to become a subject matter expert within a few short weeks. Although I expected to get a meaty and meaningful project, General Mills completely exceeded my expectations.

Please tell us if candidates can reach out to you.(Yes/No)

Absolutely

Additional Comments

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2014 Summer Internships (Marketing) – Tim Morgan

20140716_174148Name: Tim Morgan

Company: The Coca-Cola Company

Position: Brand Management Intern

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Questions:

What’s a day in the life of your internship?

I arrive to work around 8am and have coffee chats each day with members of the brand team to understand their journey with Coke and get my name out there. Afterwards, I go to my desk to analyze (mounds of) data about my brand, consumer and competition. Afterwards, I take a break and grab lunch at the nearby food trucks. I’m networking at lunch as well because doing the job right is only HALF the battle in the quest to receive an offer. After lunch I dig into more data and attend cross-functional meetings to see how brand management looks from a full-time perspective. Of course, answering lots of emails comes with the territory.

Do you like it? Is it a fit?

Yeah, I do like it. The people are down-to-earth and everyone wants us (the interns) to succeed. We’ve had happy hours, cooking contests and soon we’ll be attending a Braves game. Fun times. Beyond that, that projects are real and the brands are iconic.

Which class at Goizueta prepared you most for your internship?

GMSC. I had to leverage the frameworks and process flows I learned it that class. GMSC really helped me break big problems down into digestible pieces, develop a recommendation and present it concisely.

What advice would you give to a 1-year or a 1st year who wants to follow the same path or company?

Know your strengths, leverage your experiences and connect with as many people with knowledge about your industry (or dream company).

How helpful was CMC in helping you secure your internship?

CMC was immensely helpful for me as I prepared for the 2013 Consortium OP Conference. They setup mock interviews with members of their team as well as 2nd year students and alumni. When it was crunch time, I felt confident and prepared.

What did you wish you knew before going into the internship?

N/A

What did you NOT expect?

That I had missed the work world so much. I love seeing ideas being put into action.

Please tell us if candidates can reach out to you.(Yes/No)

Yes.

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2014 Summer Internships (Consulting) – Akhilesh Dewaker

Akhilesh DewakerName: Akhilesh Dewakar

Company: InCode Consulting, a division of Ericsson

Position: Senior Consultant Intern

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Questions:

What’s a day in the life of your internship?

The truth is that there is no such thing. Life as a consultant (especially when you are an intern) is very fluid. I have been very lucky (!) to have been staffed in a high-intensity Private Equity project. People in PE generally live to work and therefore work that usually takes 3 months is to be done in 3 weeks. This means waking up at 4AM to prepare the analysis and models, getting on an 8AM call to discuss with your team (which is spread across the US) and work till late. However, the sheer challenge and complexity of the projects mean that you hardly ever feel the pain. You hit the ground running and the complexity and challenge of it all keeps your adrenalin free flowing.

Do you like it? Is it a fit?

Given that I love to be challenged every single day, I do like it and it most certainly is a fit. Not all projects however will be this intense and therefore work-life balance is a real possibility. The culture here is almost that of a start-up given the small team even though it is part of a multi billion dollar company.

Which class at Goizueta prepared you most for your internship?

Courses in excel, and Noonan’s classes on delivery generally helped quite a bit.

What advice would you give to a 1-year or a 1st year who wants to follow the same path or company?

You’re smart and that is why you are here at Emory. But a lot of people are smart. What matters at the end of the day is delivery. To demonstrate that you have what it takes to deliver consistently under stress is key. During the interview process this is the key thing they test – through case interviews and presentation tests. Get your story straight, be honest, delivery focused and you should be in.

How helpful was CMC in helping you secure your internship?

Brian was my CMC coach and was quite helpful. The mock interviews, case interview sessions and most importantly, the constant encouragement really helped.

What did you wish you knew before going into the internship?

We all focus a lot on the big picture – finance, marketing, operational theory – all of that. On a day-to-day basis you need to be great at completing work SMARTLY. That means being a god-level excel user, being a brilliant powerpoint deck builder, and if you know how to code (R, python and yes coding helps you as a management consultant!) to do amazing analysis and data crunching in half an hour instead of 2 hours – you are the man/woman!

Please tell us if candidates can reach out to you.(Yes/No)

Yes.

Additional Comments

Don’t sweat too much. Focus on just 2 things: 1. Building core skills 2. Building your personal brand through your story.

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2014 Summer Internships (Consulting) – Setu Shah

Setu ShahName: Setu Shah

Company: Kurt Salmon

Position: Summer Healthcare Consultant

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Questions:

What’s a day in the life of your internship?

I am working on all strategy-based projects, specifically for healthcare providers. The day usually entails dividing my work between three different projects, which involve financial and market analysis, activity-based costing, and client communication. I travel occasionally depending on client meetings and presentations.

Do you like it? Is it a fit?

Yes, I love it! I am doing exactly the type of work I want to be doing, and I’ve been placed on incredibly interesting projects with some great people.

Which class at Goizueta prepared you most for your internship?

Strategy and Managerial Accounting

What advice would you give to a 1-year or a 1st year who wants to follow the same path or company?

Pick the company that is the best fit for you and most closely assists you in reaching your career goals.

How helpful was CMC in helping you secure your internship?

Very helpful. The tools and resources provided were essential in securing my internship.

What did you wish you knew before going into the internship?

NA

What did you NOT expect?

I did not expect to love working again as much as I do (especially after a year of being in school), but it’s been an easier transition than I thought.

Please tell us if candidates can reach out to you.(Yes/No)

Yes

Additional Comments

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2014 Summer Internships (Consulting) – Giselle Barrera

Giselle BarreraName: Giselle Barrera

Company: Deloitte Consulting

Position: Summer Associate/ Strategy & Operations

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Questions:

What’s a day in the life of your internship?

A day in my internship starts with a morning status call with my project team, afterwards we go to the client’s site where we usually stay having internal interviews, taking external calls and having team meetings until 6 or 7pm.

Do you like it? Is it a fit? 

I really like it! I am working with a global company in a Supply Chain project that allows me to leverage some of my experience while still learning a lot about a new industry. I am learning a lot and it’s been a great experience so far.

Which class at Goizueta prepared you most for your internship?

For a consulting internship, I think the class that prepares you the most is definitely GMSC. The long meetings with your project team and the fact that you are dealing with an unstructured problem is great preparation, especially if you come from a non-consulting background.

What advice would you give to a 1-year or a 1st year who wants to follow the same path or company? 

Network early and network smart. Talk to many people, but remember that it’s not about having the largest number of contacts, but rather finding people you have real points in common and a real connection with. Reading books about case interviews early as a 1st year doesn’t hurt either.

How helpful was CMC in helping you secure your internship?

It was really helpful, particularly because I got my internship during on-campus recruiting. When in doubt… Talk to the CMC!

What did you wish you knew before going into the internship?

That it’s ok to feel overwhelmed in the first few weeks! But it gets a lot better. Believe in yourself and before you know it, you’ll be comfortable outside of your comfort zone.

What did you NOT expect?

How strong and supportive the GBS network is, even during the summer, when we are spread out cross-country. I’ve had conversations with my friends about our internship, learned about each other’s work and how –even across industries and functions- we are going through the same thing.

Please tell us if candidates can reach out to you.

Yes

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2014 Summer Internships (Consulting) – Rohan Aggarwal

Rohan AggarwalName: Rohan Aggarwal

Company: A.T. Kearney

Position: Summer Consultant 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Questions:

What’s a day in the life of your internship?

Every monday morning I fly to client location, straight to office and usually working till 8-9.

Tuesday wednesday – 8 am to 9 pm.

Thursday usually working till 2-3 pm, then a flight back to New York which is usually late, working on the plane.

Friday I go into the office usually from 8ish to 6ish.

Usually put in 4-5 additional hours on the weekend. The work involved a lot of excel and powerpoint, meetings, conference calls, there isnt a spare moment.

Do you like it? Is it a fit?

It’s a lot of work, and an extremely hard lifestyle, but I am continuously learning new things, the people are great, it’s a fit for now, not forever.

Which class at Goizueta prepared you most for your internship?

GMSC, Management Practice

What advice would you give to a 1-year or a 1st year who wants to follow the same path or company?

Know what you are getting yourself into. Listen to noonan, take GMSC, be comfortable with ambiguity and react well to feedback.

How helpful was CMC in helping you secure your internship?

Amy Misner is the boss!

What did you wish you knew before going into the internship?

Overall I felt well prepared. I wish I knew the lifestyle a little better, but there really is no way of knowing it until you do it.

What did you NOT expect?

The extremely long hours and the high pressure lifestyle. Did not expect as much autonomy, even though you are on a team, you are single handedly doing a lot of the analysis for your workstream.

Please tell us if candidates can reach out to you.(Yes/No)

Sure, yes. But after July 28.

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2014 Summer Internships (Consulting) – Jonathan Luk

Jon LukName: Jonathan Luk

 

Company: ScottMadden, Inc.

 

Position: Management Consulting – Strategy, Summer Consultant

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Questions:

What’s a day in the life of your internship?

Most people would say that there is no “typical” day.  Having said that, here’s my best shot at it.

My project for the summer is in Saskatoon, Canada, so when I’m on site my day starts early as our internal team meets up at 7:15am to head to the client site.  Mid-morning around 10:00am, we have an internal team meeting to give updates on our individual work streams and ask/answer any questions we may have internally.  We generally take lunch around 12:30pm and will try to get out of the office for a 30-45 minute break to get some fresh air.  In the afternoon, there are usually two meetings with clients.  One is an interview scheduled with a mid-level manager and the other with a senior manager.  On this particular project, our client has over 7,000 employees and we are working with seven different functioning areas (Finance, HR, IT, etc.), so there is no shortage of client meetings!  Ideally around 4pm, I try to sneak in a walk to Starbucks for an ice coffee.  Our client generally leaves for the day around 5:00pm and our team tries to wrap up work by 7:00pm.  Once a week, our team will get dinner and drinks together after work.  If I’m on my own for the evening, I will try to work out then head “home” for dinner. Afterwards, I will usually have around an hour of “light” work answering emails, reviewing my schedule, and prepping any files needed for the next day.

Do you like it? Is it a fit?

Consulting is challenging and unpredictable, but I find the work very rewarding.  All the warnings given about the industry are true – constant travel, ambiguous problems, adapting to uncomfortable situations – but all of these have positive aspects as well.  The ability to meet and interact with C-level executives, never-ending learning potential, and navigating through the art of managing and educating clients about best practices so that they can succeed are the best parts of my job.   Being new to the consulting industry, I feel I’m getting as true of a portrayal of the life of a consultant through my experience at ScottMadden so far and especially being given a travel assignment has really allowed me to experience the travel life and learn the “tricks of the trade.”

Which class at Goizueta prepared you most for your internship?

The class that prepared me the most was Managerial Accounting with Professor Towry.  A significant portion of the work I’m doing revolves around activity-based costing, which is an aspect to accounting that I had little prior knowledge of.  Without this class, I would have definitely been behind and would have to teach myself these concepts or rely more heavily on the knowledge of my team. 

What advice would you give to a 1-year or a 1st year who wants to follow the same path or company?

During the interview process, casing is obviously extremely important.  But I think a lot of applicants are so focused on that aspect of the process that they forget to spend an equal amount of time on the behavioral/fit side.  I feel there has been a trend with some of the firms where they are putting a huge weight on personality and fit as they do not even administer a formal case in the first round (e.g. PwC, ScottMadden, Prophet, etc).  Being on this side of the process, I have spoken with a lot of consultants who assist with the interview process.  They have explicitly told me that you spend a significant amount of time with your coworkers, so if they do not believe you are a good fit for the firm in the first round, then it does not matter what your casing ability is. 

How helpful was CMC in helping you secure your internship?

The CMC was a huge help in my internship search process, particularly Brian Smith.  He provided anything from behavioral mock interviews, case mock interviews, or just a positive pep talk after an interview that I thought could have gone better.  Another aspect is that the CMC will give you real feedback – the good and the bad – without being discouraging.  They genuinely want you to improve and succeed and will do anything they can to ensure that happens.

What did you wish you knew before going into the internship?

I have always considered myself an Excel guru, but an average PowerPoint user.  One strategy I would have changed before starting my internship would be to have volunteered to become the PowerPoint creator for more of my school projects.  Getting that extra practice in and also learning from my peers who really excelled at PowerPoint would have made the consulting transition easier because I have found I was a bit slower at creating decks than my seasoned coworkers here.  After five weeks though of consistently working in that program, it has been a steep learning curve but I can confidently say that I am well on my way to becoming a power user in PowerPoint!

What did you NOT expect?

This may be ScottMadden specific but one aspect I was pleasantly surprised was how much the senior leadership of the firm makes themselves available to you.  They are there to provide advice and feedback on the work you’re doing and/or share past stories of accomplishments and failures for you to try and learn from their experiences.  I have weekly updates with the firm’s Practice Lead for Corporate Shared Services and have had multiple one-on-one interactions with the CEO and feel that the cultures of many firms would not allow me to have this.

Please tell us if candidates can reach out to you. (Yes/No)

Yes.

 

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2014 Summer Internships (Marketing/Strategy) – Ryan Fannon

Ryan FannonName: Ryan Fannon

Company: American Airlines

Position: MBA Marketing/Strategy Analyst Intern

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Questions:

What’s a day in the life of your internship?

Good evening from Dallas, Texas!  At AA I’m supporting the Cargo Strategy and Performance team within the Cargo Revenue Management Department.  My team very much functions as an internal consultancy.  I have a few defined projects ranging from integrated reporting between AA and US Airways to a cost-volume-profit analysis for AA’s different geographical entities.  Aside from my projects, I’m often pulled in to run quick analysis in support of day-to-day decision making.  I have become accustomed to pulling extremely large data sets, simplifying them, and analyzing them in a short period of time.  I’m typically interacting with 3-5 colleagues on a daily basis to accomplish my tasks.  Every day is a geography lesson and it keeps the analytics quite interesting.  Aside from my responsibilities, I am also invited to “brown bag” lunches and internal networking events with the other interns to gain a better understanding of the entire operations of the company.  On Wednesdays the interns go out for Happy Hour and on Fridays my team goes out for lunch.  The balance of work and social life within the company has been great.

Do you like it? Is it a fit?

I’m having a great experience this summer at AA! The industry is extremely dynamic and challenging.  The company really gives MBA interns and full-time employees a lot of freedom to design their own career path.  The work is highly visible and well-balanced between day-to-day ad-hoc projects and longer-term decision making. In terms of fit, I find the employees to be very approachable and laid back compared to other work environments I’ve experienced.  The availability of managers and the work/life balance are two particular strong suits.  Finally, I love to travel and the flight privileges awarded to airline employees are unmatched.  The ability to travel on weekends to see distant family and friends has been very rewarding for me personally.   The biggest challenge for me full-time would be location.  Texas is a long way from New England, both in distance and in culture.  However, the ability to fly freely would certainly lessen that gap.

Which class at Goizueta prepared you most for your internship?

A tie between Managerial Accounting and DDA

What advice would you give to a 1-year or a 1st year who wants to follow the same path or company?

Interview with American Airlines at the NBMBAA Conference before slots fill up.  Make sure you have done your research on the company and industry prior to interviewing (airline industry terminology and metrics are especially important to know).  The merger with US Airways is still very much in its infancy stage.  It’s a sure bet that prospective employees will receive interview questions regarding the many operational, technical, and cultural challenges of integrating two huge companies.

How helpful was CMC in helping you secure your internship?

The CMC was helpful in preparing for the NBMBAA Conference where I had my first round interview with AA.  Additionally, the CMC did a great job in connecting me with Goizueta Alumni at AA to prepare me for my final round interview.

What did you wish you knew before going into the internship?

I wish I had been savvier on Excel in terms of tools and shortcuts.  However, I found myself learning the necessary Excel skills very quickly on the job.  Additionally, some exposure to MS Access would have been helpful.

What did you NOT expect?

I did not expect the company to be so laid back (in a good way!).

Please tell us if candidates can reach out to you.(Yes/No)

Yes

Additional Comments

This is directed towards incoming First-Year students who will be embarking on their internship search this fall.  Be open for anything unless you need to be employed in a certain location for family reasons.  I came to school with a relatively closed mind, set on management consulting in the Northeast.  If it weren’t for my experience at the NBMBAA Conference, I would never been exposed to opportunities in the airline industry.  Don’t be afraid to take a risk.  I’ve learned over the course of the last year that there is no better time to take risks than now.  You have your whole life to be comfortable.  Trust me when I say that nothing could have made me more uncomfortable than moving to Texas.  Its taking yourself out of your comfort zone that really adds to the personal growth you’ll experience during your first year of school.  Try to lessen the outside noise that may be guiding you towards one specific industry or company and be as open-minded as possible when you begin your search.  Best of luck!

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2014 Summer Internships (Marketing) – Jessica Wicks

Jessica WicksName: Jessica Wicks

Company: Johnson & Johnson Vision Care

Position: US Marketing Intern

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Questions:

What’s a day in the life of your internship?

Busy! My day is typically filled with meetings and working on my deliverables – the day speeds by!

Do you like it? Is it a fit?

I am loving my internship! I have challenging projects that keep me on my toes and excited about going to work every day. The people and overall company culture are a great match for my personality and work style.

Which class at Goizueta prepared you most for your internship?

GMSC…GMSC…GMSC!

What advice would you give to a 1-year or a 1st year who wants to follow the same path or company?

Attend GCC and National Black MBA Conference.

 

What did you wish you knew before going into the internship?

I think you can only be so prepared for any experience in life, especially an internship! With that said, I felt very comfortable with what I knew and didn’t know going into the internship—everything else I’ve been able to figure out along the way during my journey this summer.

What did you NOT expect?

I did not expect to be working on such impactful projects for the company. In addition to that, I have a lot of freedom in terms of the direction of my projects and the recommendations I will be making to the organization.

Please tell us if candidates can reach out to you.(Yes/No)

Yes

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2014 Summer Internships (Finance – Investment Banking) – Katarina Chiscop

Katarina Chiscop - Headshot (2)Name: Katarina Chiscop

Company: SunTrust Robinson Humphrey

Position: Investment Banking Summer Associate

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Questions:

What’s a day in the life of your internship?

I wake up around 6 a.m., leave home around 7 a.m., definitely stop by Starbucks for a coffee and oatmeal and get to the office around 7:40 a.m. Unless I have early meeting or working on something from the previous night (not typically though, since every project is very time sensitive), my mornings are a bit slower until new assignments start rolling in. I usually catch on any market news, read Wall Street Journal, and walk around the office to catch up with analysts, associates, and vice presidents. Once work starts coming in, I usually work on two-three things at the same time. I go to lunch when I get a free moment, and usually around noon. Networking in banking is very important so I typically have a coffee meeting with someone from another group around 3 p.m. The rest of the day is work, work, work. Work is really enjoyable and diverse and time goes by quickly when you work on interesting projects. Analysts order dinner for the whole group around 6:30 p.m. and we all eat together in the conference room and talk about the day or anything else. I typically leave office between 11:00-12:00 p.m. and when I work on something more complex, I often stay past midnight..

Do you like it? Is it a fit?

I came to business school to transition from my accounting career to banking and I have to say that I am really happy I am able to have this experience. Yes, you will most likely work more hours than other classmates in different job industries but if you enjoy what you do, it is absolutely worth it! I really like banking, the company I work for, and overall experience. Everyone is very nice, communicative and helpful. I am very happy to be working with so many intelligent people with great personalities and I do feel like SunTrust Robinson Humphrey, its employees, and work I do is a great fit.

Which class at Goizueta prepared you most for your internship?

JB’s finance class gave me fundamental information used in banking on daily basis. Investment banking class was very helpful as well and because we work closely with venture capital and private equity firms, VC/PE class was great as well.

What advice would you give to a 1-year or a 1st year who wants to follow the same path or company?

Network, network, network, and learn about the company you are interested in. Meet as many people as possible, show confidence and strong interest. Have positive attitude, attend any and every event the company/ies of your choice have on Emory campus. Be a team player and work with your classmates interested in the same field – help each other; and seek out 2nd year students’ help.

How helpful was CMC in helping you secure your internship?

I had a great experience working with CMC. CMC really cares about your professional success and everyone there is interested in you. Even though CMC will be there for you, I advice you to be proactive on your own as well. Be organized, know what is going on in the  recruiting life and follow companies you are interested in so you do not miss out on any opportunity

What did you wish you knew before going into the internship?

I thought about what to answer for about five minutes but nothing came to my mind. Second years students and bankers prepared me for anything there was to come and nothing came as a surprise once I started my internship. If one thing, maybe I would have bought a really good quality coffee/espresso maker for my morning coffee because I definitely drink more coffee now (approx. three cups a day) than during school.

What did you NOT expect?

I did not expect senior bankers to be so helpful and open to help. They are either traveling or very busy in their office but they always find some time to talk to summer interns.

Please tell us if candidates can reach out to you.(Yes/No)

Yes

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2014 Summer Internships (Finance) – Branden Burell

bsbName: Branden Burell

Company: Hewlett Packard

Position: Finance Leadership Development Program – Senior Financial Analyst Intern, Worldwide FP&A

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Questions:

What’s a day in the life of your internship?

When I arrive at work, I first swing by the desks of my new friends to see who’s made it in early and say hello.  When I get to my desk, I check my calendar to see who’s added appointments (we have major operations in Europe, Singapore, China, Japan, etc. so projects are usually being worked on around the clock).  Right now, I’m in charge of 3 different cost savings projects covering $1.5B of potential savings.

After getting settled in, I meet briefly with my boss’ boss’ boss to inform him of the status of the projects before updating my Excel sheets.  Then, I’m ready for the day.  My first meeting is usually around 8 AM (usually a virtual meeting) and they continue until around 11 AM.

Next, I begin scheduling calls with Senior VPs from departments that have been falling behind in reporting—they don’t usually take it well when an MBA intern is calling them to harass them about their work.  I’m the only intern that is able to interface daily with directors that are 2 steps down from the CFO.  It takes a lot of tact and diplomacy when dealing with leaders with drastically different leadership styles.

Then, I usually go to lunch with someone who’s reserved time on my calendar.  After lunch, I do 1:1s with process owners or finance directors to convey success metrics and expectations and to try to figure out ways to incorporate efficiency gains.

Then, I’m usually worn out, so I ping someone to go for a walk and/or get coffee.  There’s 4 analysts that I’m particularly fond of that have been good friends to me.

Finally, I check in on my special projects.  This is really what makes the job fun for me.  Right now, I’m arranging to bring HP to Emory for On Campus Recruiting (OCR).  I was really lucky to work my way into the hearts of the outstanding FLDP recruiting team and they’ve been giving me assignments.  In turn, I’ve convinced them to seriously consider coming to campus for recruiting and I’m now developing a budget proposal and tentatively planning events.  Hopefully, you’ll see us on campus as a team next year during KEGS; please watch for it!

Do you like it? Is it a fit?

A few weeks ago, on day 3 of my internship, HP’s Finance Department had a “Worldwide Training Day” event. Over 300 finance employees came from all over California to participate in the event.  It’s basically a time to meet the new MBA interns and welcome them to the finance family. We gathered in the auditorium, where Managing Directors from JP Morgan kicked off the event.  They talked about the state of the economy and HP’s potential, in context. Then, a Senior Director from HP showed us how the company’s financial operations fit together and what plans were in place to enhance efficiency. Finally, the day wrapped up with Cathie Lesjak, the CFO, answering questions that the audience had.

Last but not least, and quite by surprise, it was announced that the MBA interns would take the stage and speak for a few minutes.  My heart sunk in my chest.  I’m terrified of public speaking.  However, I knew that this was the time to really make an impression. I was the last intern to speak, and I left everything I had on the stage. I told them of my challenges and of the sacrifices that I had made to be a part of their team. I made them laugh and I made them smile; I think I even made a few people cry as I, myself, shed tears of happiness—quite unintentionally—and  conveyed my true thankfulness to be there; and that there was no place I’d rather be.

Since then, people have actually sought me out, and even other MBA interns are scheduling time on my calendar for “leadership advice.”  I didn’t know I possessed that kind of candor. Honestly, I think it’s the people and the professional atmosphere that have inspired me. At HP, people value intelligence, individuality, kindness, thoughtfulness; and people are always smiling. Even among the leadership there is a substantial culture of service and thankfulness; Meg Whitman, the CEO, served me a hot dog at the 75th annual picnic.

I love it. For me, it’s a match made in heaven. This whole experience of being out here in California and working at HP is amazing.  I sometimes wonder if I died and went to heaven a few months ago. Even my morning drive is breathtakingly beautiful. The fog from the ocean drifts dreamily over the jagged hills to the west as I’m driving; it’s all I can do to avoid an accident from looking at it.

Which class at Goizueta prepared you most for your internship?

‘Soft skills’ classes helped a lot more than I imagined. Do yourself a favor and take them seriously. Specifically, Rick Gilkey and Peter Topping’s Leadership Class and Brandon Smith’s MP class are valuable. Also, anything you can do to get involved with JB and Ken Keen—do it.  These guys are leadership gold; although, depending on the current price of gold, JB might prefer to be compared to a more precious metal.

What advice would you give to a 1-year or a 1st year who wants to follow the same path or company?

Schedule some time with me. I want to help bring more Emory interns and grads into HP. I feel that our core values and culture align very closely with HP and I’d be very happy to talk to you more about it.

How helpful was CMC in helping you secure your internship?

I wouldn’t have gotten into HP without the help of the CMC.  These folks do a LOT of work behind the scenes to help us become successful. ‘Building your brand’ is used a lot these days… perhaps to the point of obscurity.  In my experience, it’s important to figure out what you want to do very early in your MBA career.  Only then, will you be able to really begin to build your brand.   If you’re effective enough at it, your reputation will precede you.

In fact, the only reason I made it in the door for an interview was because I became known as the guy who is passionate about technology and finance, and Lori, Amy and others at the CMC fought to get my resume in front of the right people.

What did you wish you knew before going into the internship? 

How to fully use Excel without a mouse; it seriously makes you look like a pro.  I use it some, but I have to revert to a mouse when things get tricky.  Take TTS workshops every chance you get.

What did you NOT expect?

 I didn’t expect the flow of information to be so slow.  Working in FP&A, we’re using a lot of ad hoc systems to forecast and compile data.  Many of them rely on other people from operations feeding us numbers.  We’re just one small part of a very complex organization.  I expected everything to work like a well-oiled machine.  Good news for MBA students: In reality, there’s almost always room for meaningful improvements.

Please tell us if candidates can reach out to you.(Yes/No)

Yes.

Additional Comments

Most jaw-dropping moment so far:  When I met Meg Whitman, the CEO, she said that Emory was a great school!   It was a special moment for me—the other MBA interns (from Darden, Haas, Anderson, Cornell, Wharton, etc.) were all glowing with envy.

Unsolicited Advice:  Don’t be the MBA that goes into your internship ‘guns-a-blazing,’ trying to change the world.  Yes, I want to change the world.  No, I’m not going to do it on the first day and neither are you.  What you will do very quickly is alienate any potential allies and probably not get a job offer.  Please, please don’t be that person. As an Emory MBA student, you’re representing all of us.

Best of luck in your careers and in your lives.

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2014 Summer Internships (Leadership & General Management) – Andrea Goodman

Andrea GoodmanName: Andrea Goodman

Company: Liberty Mutual Insurance

Position: Corporate Development Program Intern

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Questions:

What’s a day in the life of your internship?

I usually work from 8:30 am to 6:00 pm and spend my time on email, meetings, creating PowerPoint presentations, brainstorming, analyzing marketing data, and performing research. I am part of the mobile apps team and am working on several projects this summer, so each day varies greatly.

Do you like it? Is it a fit?

I love it. The program is well established and continues to grow. There is a plethora of opportunities to network with a diverse range of professionals, many of whom have devoted numerous years to the company.

Which class at Goizueta prepared you most for your internship?

For this specific role, I would say Marketing Analytics was most helpful.

What advice would you give to a 1-year or a 1st year who wants to follow the same path or company?

These students will hear this a lot: be proactive in every way possible. This includes networking, practicing interviews, studying the company and industry, and sharpening relevant skill sets.

How helpful was CMC in helping you secure your internship?

Very helpful. The CMC has great relations with Liberty Mutual and helped to provide me with networking opportunities with Liberty Mutual employees.

What did you wish you knew before going into the internship?

Although I gave this question a lot of thought, I would say that I felt well prepared for the internship. Additional experience with PowerPoint would have been useful, but I was able to improve my skills in creating presentations while on the job.

What did you NOT expect?

Liberty Mutual is an insurance company that has been around for over 100 years. During that time, corporate employees follow the suit-and-tie dress code. Who knew that during my very first week of work that the executive decision would be made to change it to business casual!

Please tell us if candidates can reach out to you

Absolutely – I have much more to share!

 

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2014 Summer Internships (Consulting) – Ketan Kowshik

Ketan KowshikName: Ketan Kowshik

Company: EY

Position: Performance Improvement – Finance, Intern

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Questions:

What’s a day in the life of your internship?

All days are different. My client is one of the world’s largest diversified automotive corporations. On Mondays, I leave home by 5AM, fly to client’s location and reach client’s office by 10:30AM. On other days, I reach client’s office between 7:30am and 8:00am. On the way to work, I stop for breakfast, check my emails and review my commitments for the day.

Some days are spent on client engagement activities such as conducting interviews and research, attending meetings, analyzing problems, and developing project plans and presentations. Some days are spent on business development activities such as working with a partner to get new business contracts to EY, developing statements of work and C-level agendas.

On most days, our engagement team breaks for lunch at around 12PM and eats together. We try to wrap up and leave client’s office by 7PM. On Thursdays, I leave client’s office by 3PM and fly back home. Dinner is either at a new restaurant (that the team has not tried before), back in the hotel room or at the airport. After dinner, I plan next day’s known tasks.

Do you like it? Is it a fit?

Yes and yes. The work environment at EY – like at Goizueta – is more collaborative than competitive.

Which classes at Goizueta prepared you most for your internship?

Leadership courses, Financial Intelligence and Management Practice (Structured Problem Solving).

What advice would you give to a 1-year or a 1st year who wants to follow the same path or company?

Leverage second year students! Read Barbara Minto’s Pyramid Principle. Don’t ignore behavioral interviews. Start practicing case interviews in August/September and get good quality (over quantity) practice. Document your cases and points of improvement.

How helpful was CMC in helping you secure your internship?

The GCC nicely set the tone for the internship recruiting season. My CMC coach, Brian Smith, was very helpful – he critiqued my resume and helped me polish it, we did multiple mock interviews in person. The GO portal was well-organized.

What did you wish you knew before going into the internship?

I wish I knew the Emory alumni at EY better. I had not networked with many of them. With so many consulting firms recruiting on campus, it is difficult to take the time to network. I wish I knew that I had to start early and be more purposeful at networking. It would have helped me build a better network.

What did you NOT expect?

In my first week, I worked with a senior partner to develop CFO agenda on growth management. I did not expect to interact with the C-suite of multiple clients. I did not expect to do any program management activities. I did not expect to work on developing new business contracts.

Please tell us if candidates can reach out to you.(Yes/No)

Yes.

Additional Comments

Interns in consulting are generally pampered a lot. I’ll leave it at that.

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2014 Summer Internships (Marketing Analytics) – Kailash Thiyagarajan

KTName: Kailash Thiyagarajan

Company: United Airlines

Position: Marketing Optimization Intern

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Questions:

What’s a day in the life of your internship?

Fantastic! I get into work around 9am, look at flight schedules, plan a trip, observe stats on United flight traffic around the world, convert this data into behavioral insights to figure out how to get our customers to buy more add-on services such as Priority Boarding, Extra Legroom, Seat Upgrades etc. Friday’s I am at the airport getting on a flight to anywhere United Airlines can fly to – domestic or international. I am at a point where I can start my own Lonely Planet blog.

Do you like it? Is it a fit?  

Absolutely. This is exactly what I had in mind going into my MBA. I am a big traveler and this summer alone I have flown to Netherlands, Belgium and Germany… upcoming trips include Mexico and Canada. I am a customer to my own work which makes me that much more dedicated. During my internship, I’ve had the opportunity to see the Worldwide Network Operating Center of United Airlines – which shows all the aircrafts that are up in the air along with cumulative on-time flight arrival and departure averages, the airport operations of the Chicago O’Hare International Airport and the future of Flight – The BOEING factory in Seattle, WA. I also get excellent flight benefits (for details please email).

Which class at Goizueta prepared you most for your internship? 

Product & Brand Management, Management Science In Spreadsheets, GMSC, Data & Decision Analytics (DDA).

What advice would you give to a 1-year or a 1st year who wants to follow the same path or company?  

There are two reasons why you want to be in the Airline industry – you love travel and you love aviation; people can sniff you out if you aren’t honest about either. You have to bleed jetfuel to be in this business – its subject to exogenous shocks and you will find turbulent times i.e. layoffs, outsourcing and spurts in hiring. The competition is fierce, the challenges are immense. Think of an Airline as a Technology company on Wings. Knowing excel, being comfortable with huge amounts of data, understanding analytical jargon, charts and economics is a must, can’t stress enough.

Network and network hard – this is a pure relationship based industry and the opportunity to work in any function is possible if you can make connections.

How helpful was CMC in helping you secure your internship?

As a career switcher, I faced significant hurdles transitioning core tech & ops skillset into Marketing. But I never gave up despite the fact I could’ve had easy wins in functions where my Pre-MBA background best fit. I wanted to be in Marketing and the CMC helped me stay focussed on that.

What did you wish you knew before going into the internship? 

United doesn’t give out a full-time job offer after your summer internships. You have to network around the organization to find the group, function and a job opening to get a full-time offer. That being said, its not hard once you are in the organization i.e. if you already made it as an intern.

What did you NOT expect? 

The magnanimity of the challenges that Airlines face and how it would effect my work. It’s easy to get siloed and carry on with your own body of work, but United breeds a truly collaborative culture and everyone is onboard with one mission – to stay on the top.

Please tell us if candidates can reach out to you.

Yes.

Additional Comments

I would mirror a comment which my classmate Ryan Fannon mentioned earlier – don’t get fixated on one company, function or industry. Network, learn and gain as much knowledge as you can. Setup mock interviews, work on those STAR stories, participate in case competitions and prepare for case interview style questions. Repeat. The more you know, the less you need.

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Futbol the Redeemer – A Brazilian Tale

[This is a recap of a trip to Brazil by some students from Goizueta as part of their Mid Semester Module. Story by Derek Helsby, MBA Class of 2014. Pictures to come.] 

Companies

The Brazilian government had enormous, almost suffocating, control over their economy.  They had massive tariffs making international trade incredibly difficult.  That was a theme we saw throughout the many different industries.  However, it was fascinating to see how a different culture operated in the business setting.  My personal favorites were GM and the law firm.  I liked GM because we got to see the factory, all the cars being put together piece by piece, and the final product at the end.  The law firm was fascinating because they are doing a lot of work developing contracts and coordinating the World Cup and the Olympic Games.  Overall, all companies were interesting, and it was really cool seeing business in a different part of the world.

Culture

When we ordered wine that night, the waiter stood over one of our classmates, Sameer, waiting for his approval before pouring the glass.  Sameer said the wine was good, and gave him the “A-OK” sign with his hands, not knowing this was the Brazilian equivalent of the middle finger.  The waiter laughed and educated us that in Brazil it means a very different thing than in the United States.  That was a funny start to some of the cultural differences from America to Brazil.

Futbol

While in Rio de Janeiro, one of us found a Brazilian Soccer (or Futbol) game nearby to go watch.  I had heard that Brazilians are all about their futbol, but WOW it was awesome.  From the moment we walked in, everyone was singing songs, banging on drums, and waving flags.  At the end I found out it was a preseason game.  I can only imagine the hype revolving around a regular season game.

Nightlife

The nightlife as a whole was very similar to America.  However, they have one drink that Brazilians love and was seen everywhere.  It’s called a Caipirinha, and it consists of Cuchasa, sugar, and lime.  Cuchasa is the Brazilian liquor, which is difficult to describe.  It’s made from sugar cane, and is almost like a cross between rum and a light tequila.  It makes a fruity drink that was very good!

I have to say that the most memorable part of the trip was the time spent with my classmates.  We got to experience a new part of the world, and gain an appreciation for a different culture.  We also got to bring some of America to Brazil with an epic game of football on the beach.  At the end I was happy to get back home, but I’ll always remember our trip to Brazil.

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The Cape of Good Fun – A South African Tale

[This is a recap of a trip to South Africa by some students from Goizueta as part of their Mid Semester Module. Story by Raymond Armstead, MBA Class of 2014.] 

When you think of South Africa, what comes to mind? Is it Mandela? Apartheid? Zebras and lions? I’m sure I hit some of your thoughts with just those four words, but when you think of South Africa, do you think of other words like ‘emerging economy,’ ‘pinotage wine,’ ‘Gateway to Africa?’ I’m sure the Goizueta South Africa Mid-Semester module group had some of these pre-conceived notions, but after ten amazing days of visiting a country full of culture and history, we’ve become even more enlightened about the region, the challenges of businesses in the post-apartheid era, and the wonderful people we’ve met along the way.

Johannesburg was our first stop in South Africa. We visited companies such as Yonder Media, Tiger Brands, and GE Healthcare, and learned more about how South Africa is literally “The Gateway” to the rest of the African continent. If a product or service succeeds in South Africa, then the opportunities are endless for expansion to the rest of the continent. Succeeding in South Africa, as we learned from all our company visits, is not as easy as it looks. There are many challenges. For example, English may be the language of business in the urban areas, but in the rural areas of South Africa, you may encounter citizens that only speak one of the other 11 official languages, none which is English, or even Afrikaans, the language widely spoken throughout the western parts of South Africa (including Cape Town).

In the midst of all the company visits in Johannesburg, we also had time for a little fun and sight-seeing. We went to Freedom Square, viewed neighborhoods in Soweto, visited Nelson Mandela’s house, Soccer city, where the first and last matches of the 2010 World Cup took place, the Apartheid Museum, and my personal favorite, Nkholi Primary School, where we were welcomed by the entire student body with song, poetry, and dance. While at the school, we toured classrooms, played with students during recess, and donated supplies to the teachers.

Our next stop was the Ivory Tree Game Lodge in Pilanesburg for rest, relaxation, and fun! The Pilanesburg National Reserve is home to South African wildlife, including the big 5: the rhino, elephant, lion, buffalo, and leopard. The Goizueta group went on several game drives, either early in the morning, or at night. One of my personal highlights was seeing the Southern Cross in its full glory, as well as the Milky Way galaxy at night. We even had a dinner ‘in the field,’ where we were under the protection of armed guards looking for any wildlife that may want to spoil our evening.

Cape Town was our final stop on the South Africa Trip. From there we visited two firms: Frost and Sullivan and Coronation Global, where we learned about how health care is a very attractive industry in South Africa (as well as the continent), how renewable energies will drive economic growth, and how to invest and run funds in a small and concentrated South African market. In addition to company visits we traveled to Stellenbosch (aka Wine country), took in the sights, sounds, smells, and went on wine tastings and winery tours. All of us discovered Pinotage wine, and I even brought back a bottle. Also, to satisfy our curiosity for South African history, we visited Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was held prisoner for 18 years of his 27 year incarceration. Next, we went to the top of Table Mountain and took in the view of the entire Cape, as well as the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. Our grand finale was at the Gold of Africa Museum & Restaurant, where we learned how to properly use the African drums, and were entertained by song and dance during our dinner.

Overall, the South Africa Mid Semester Module was an outstanding trip, with a fair mix of company visits, rest, relaxation, and fun! It really motivates one to take another look at his or her aspirations and ask the question: “Should I pursue a global career?” The opportunities to pursue your career goals are vast and endless should you use the entire world as your playground.

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There and Back Again – an Indian Tale

[This is a recap of a trip to India by some students from Goizueta as part of their Mid Semester Module. Story by John Stiefel a.k.a The Stief, MBA Class of 2014. Pictures to come.] 

 

Our journey began with a landing in the Delhi airport in the middle of the night, although it was really mid-afternoon back home. We were greeted by our guide, Anup, whose gentle demeanor, soothing voice, and beard put me in mind of a kindly uncle. It soon became apparent that Anup was something of a modern day Indiana Jones, minus the whip. He spoke more languages than I could name and had seemingly been everywhere and done everything. He also had a penchant for occasionally tossing off statements that left you wondering if you had properly heard him, such as, “Democracy can’t work in the long run,” and “Did you know that Jesus spent most of his life in India?” With our fate in the hands of this dynamic character, we prepared to tackle the country.

The next morning, as our tour bus rolled out of the hotel, I was immediately struck by a feeling of slightly out of control energy. Our driver guided us down streets seemingly devoid of traffic lights, but certainly not devoid of traffic. All around us, the roads were choked by cars, trucks, and buses. None of them made the faintest attempt to stay in their lanes, and all of them seemed to be honking their horns continuously, which lent an air of chaos to the scene. What looked to be glorified golf carts, all painted green and yellow, zigged and zagged between the larger vehicles, while motorcycles and bikes bobbed and weaved between the golf carts. Finally, filling in whatever cracks remained, were a few intrepid souls on foot, and also – to the delight of our group – cows and dogs. For the first few minutes it seemed that all the traffic, combined with the lack of so much as a stop sign, would invariably lead to a NASCAR-style wreck. Since our bus was just about the largest vehicle out there, we didn’t worry much about ourselves, but we feared for the lives of those daredevils on bikes and the defenseless stray dogs. However, I soon realized that as I couldn’t recall ever seeing an article or news story about the astonishingly high rate of driving fatalities in India, the situation was probably well in hand.

Over the course of the next few days in Delhi, Agra, Varanasi, Mumbai, and Goa, we visited more sites than I could count, most of them religious in nature. Naturally, I knew that India hosted its fair share of Hindus, but we also wandered through structures built by Muslims, Buddhists, and even some religions I didn’t know existed. They were quite impressive, but after a while I started to wonder, “This is all well and good, but when will we have a look at one of mine?” by which I meant a Catholic church. Anup did not disappoint. Unfortunately, my roommate and I showed up at 3:30 for the 3:00 bus, so I missed my chance to see what I am told was an old and rather splendid cathedral in the Goa region.

Our visitations were not confined to the domain of the spiritual. The most impressive and noteworthy, of course, was the Taj Mahal. We also had a look at the president’s house (a rather sumptuously appointed spread, I can tell you), a fort, an abandoned city, and a 600 year old tower soaring 25 stories into the sky. I became quite excited at the prospect of visiting the Qutub Minar, imagining myself sprinting up the spiral staircase like Rocky and exuberantly celebrating my feat at the top. To my bitter disappointment, we were told that tourists were no longer permitted to climb the stairs, owing to the unfortunate habit of some guests to hurl themselves out of the upper story windows.

Perhaps the most unique facet of the trip was our visit to the Dharavi slum in Mumbai (the city formerly known as Bombay). These slums were nothing like what you might find in Detroit or Cleveland. Here something like a million people pack themselves into what appeared to be an endless line of sheds, one next to the other. Often I had to stoop low or hunch my shoulders to squeeze through a doorway or maneuver down an alley. In addition to homes (some as small as 100 square feet), many of these buildings were alive with small operations creating cardboard from cow manure, or churning out pottery. “Why don’t these people move to the suburbs?” someone in our group asked. “Because their families and friends are here, and they’ve spent their lives as part of this community,” our guide informed us. Quite a place.

As one might imagine, we had many other escapades during our two weeks in India, including a trip to the beach, a float down the Ganges River, and – my personal favorite – a visit to Bollywood. But some things must be left to the imagination. Suffice to say, if a person wanted to take a vacation to someplace a little adventurous, a little exotic, a place you wouldn’t mistake for suburban Connecticut if you temporarily forgot where you were (such as Canada, for example), then I would definitely recommend India.

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