Student Internship Spotlight: The Takeaways

A summer internship adds depth of experience to an MBA student’s already extensive résumé. But it’s about more than just bulking up your LinkedIn profile. Internships allow students to sample their career interests, develop valuable networks with employers and learn new skills that will benefit them in their future careers.

TCU MBA students hold internships at leading global companies, where they gain practical knowledge working on projects that solve real problems. Most students take away more from their internship than they could have ever expected.

Ethan Silvers, summer intern in the commercial department at Mars Chocolate North America in New Jersey, is working on strategic sourcing and procurement. His summer project is focused on the inbound supply chain for raw materials and packaging, with the objective of optimizing the supply chain, identifying inefficiencies, making recommendations for managing in-bound pipelines and coming up with a plan for standard operating procedures going forward, then sharing those findings with Wrigley and Petcare, brands within the Mars family.

Silvers says he has been surprised at the lack of process documentation he has encountered during his internship. He’s taking his observations and learning how to correct deficiencies.

“I hope to be an expert in supply chain management,” he says. With the experience he has gained this summer, Silvers expects to be able to tackle any supply chain issues he comes upon once he lands his full-time job.

Matt Bean, summer intern at Drum Hill Capital, a private wealth management firm in Connecticut, says it has been interesting to see how things he has learned in the classroom are applied in the field. “I’ve learned a different way of looking at things,” he says.

This summer, Bean has assisted with general portfolio management, monitoring the market and economy fluctuations and evaluating the values of portfolios. He has also learned how an individual’s human capital fits into his or her portfolio, as well as how to evaluate a startup’s earning potential and develop a decision tree, used by venture capitalists and entrepreneurs to speak to the amount of debt to take on and how much to invest.

Bean is using his time to learn as much as he can in hopes to apply this insight in his future career. He is also taking full advantage of networking in the Northeast, his location of choice, and plans contact his new connections after graduation.

Glenn Decker, intern at USAA in San Antonio, says his time in San Antonio has put his career goals to the test. “I had the goal of graduating and moving on to a larger organization and have now seen both the challenges and advantages of working in a larger organization.”

Decker works in client management in the member experience department, a marketing-based arm of the company focused on serving members and working to improve their experience with USAA.

As a member of USAA since he was 18, Decker has now had the chance to see the organization from the inside and says he’s learned the company’s commitment to caring for its members isn’t just an empty promise.

Whether it’s a specific skill or a new mindset, summer internships provide students a new perspective on the career field they are pursuing. But the learning doesn’t stop when the internship ends. 

“There’s still so much to learn. I want to learn more about other departments of the organization,” says Decker. “It’s like an elongated interview process, where both the organization and the worker to get to know each other.”

Interested in getting a TCU MBA? Request more info about the Neeley School of Business graduate program or apply now.
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