Six Takes on Summer at CBS Interactive

Hello Haas Community! This past summer I got the opportunity to intern with the online media company CBS Interactive. After sorting through thousands of applications, CBS Interactive’s University Relations team selected 42 students to participate in their internship program, 25 of which worked at the San Francisco office. Six of those lucky candidates were your fellow Cal Bears! I have interviewed each of these students, including myself, about their experience to help future applicants better understand the different departments within CBS Interactive and get a better understanding of what an internship with this company might be like.

Summer 2014
CBS Interactive Intern Class of Summer 2014 with current president and CEO Jim Lanzone

Name: Navneet Singh
Year: Senior
Major: Business Administration
Department at CBS Interactive: University Relations

  1. What were some of your day-to-day tasks:
    My responsibilities included developing the intern community. I worked on event panning, setting up events such as professional development workshops, orientations, and social activities. I coordinated executive briefings to give interns exposure to company leadership. I also spent lots of time creating evaluations as well as doing on-board and off-board paperwork.
  2. Describe the team you worked with:
    The University Relations department is a two-person team within Human Resources. HR covers a wide variety of roles within the company. Everyone I worked with over the summer was extremely talented. I set up one-on-one meetings with my teammates to get to know more about each of their individual roles, and walked away with a better sense of what it means to be an effective HR employee.
  3. What was your biggest achievement this summer:
    My greatest accomplishment was orchestrating an orientation session for 20 interns both in San Francisco and nation wide. My manager was out-of-town and I successfully lead the welcome orientation on my own which included an office tour through the maze that is the 6 stories of CBS Interactive headquarters, a welcome presentation, and the creation of welcome packages for all of our new interns.
  4. What was your favorite part of the summer:
    I’m torn; I have 3 favorite parts of this summer. My highlights were the company-wide Hack Day (which I helped plan), attending the Giants game, and the end of summer Intern Fair (which I also helped plan).
  5. What were some of the perks of working for CBS Interactive:
    My favorite perks were my awesome co-workers, the awesome CBSi swag, being able to wear jeans everyday, and learning so SO much in one summer.
  6. Advice for people applying to internships in University Relations:
    Make sure you have a lot of event planning skills, also make sure you like working with other people and can communicate well. You don’t have to be an awesome public speaker, just be fun, creative, and thoughtful.

Name: Christina Lee
Year: Senior
Major: Economics
Department at CBS Interactive: Business Development

  1. What were some of your day-to-day tasks:
    Working on various analyses and industry reports.
  2. Describe the team you worked with:
    All of my teammates were really patient with me and they each set aside time to talk to me 1-on-1 about some of the bigger projects that they have been working on and took extra time to explain when they assigned smaller tasks for me to take the lead on. They always gave me constructive feedback on my work and made the learning process less daunting. You could tell that all of them were really experienced in partnership management and in negotiating deals.
  3. What was your biggest achievement this summer:
    Finishing and presenting a comprehensive CNET competitive analysis.
  4. What was your favorite part of the summer:
    Working with my business development team and learning a lot from each one of them.
  5. What were some of the perks of working for CBS Interactive:
    Fun intern events like the Giants game!
  6. Advice for people applying to internships in Business Development:
    Be sure to go to the career fair, make a good impression with the recruiter, and follow-up with them!

Name: Kenny Yu
Year: Senior
Major: Business Administration
Department at CBS Interactive: Product Management

  1. What were some of your day-to-day tasks:
    My day-to-day tasks included conducting A/B testing, following up with engineers on bugs, writing product specs, communicating with various stakeholders, analyzing data and compiling reports, and other tasks as demanded.
  2. Describe the team you worked with:
    The team I worked with was a very small team, but was in the center of many other teams, such as sales, engineering, editorials, commercial, and more. We were basically the middle person for everyone.
  3. What was your biggest achievement this summer:
    My main project was over the summer was to redesign article page in tablet. I think that’s probably my biggest achievement.
  4. What was your favorite part of the summer:
    My favorite part was winning a Jawbone as a prize from Hack Day.
  5. What were some of the perks of working for CBS Interactive:
    Ping-Pong, popcorn, movies…
  6. Advice for people applying to internships in Product Management:
    Know something about product management. Two very common interview questions for product management positions are: How do you prioritize things? How do you handle conflicts?

Name: Kendal Madden
Year: Junior
Major: Business Administration & Media Studies
Department at CBS Interactive: Audience Development

  1. What were some of your day-to-day tasks:
    Some of my day-to-day tasks involved writing and designing the CNET Community Newsletter, which went out to 260,000 CNET members every Tuesday. I also helped with daily community moderation of the websites forums and article comments. Everyday I would attend meetings and collaborate with my team members, as well as work on my larger summer projects such as competitive analysis to improve the CNET member profile.
  2. Describe the team you worked with:
    My team was extremely welcoming and supportive. Even though I was “the intern” they treated me as an equal from day one. They trusted me with real work, which allowed me to feel like I was making a difference and contributing to the company every day. My manager made himself extremely accessible and created an environment where I felt comfortable asking him questions about any of my various assignments.
  3. What was your biggest achievement this summer:
    My biggest achievement this summer was pitching the improvements I developed for the CNET member profile to the Audience Development team. One of my developments to increase user registration and newsletter subscription is currently in the process of being implemented!
  4. What was your favorite part of the summer:
    My favorite part of this summer was getting to know my team, and celebrating the small victories, like when one of us would come up with a super catchy subject line or call to action! Also, getting to learn the internal process of developing and running a sweepstakes was very interesting. It was fun to see the entries roll in and get to report the final statistics to my team. Another summer highlight was being a member of the winning Hack Day team!
  5. What were some of the perks of working for CBS Interactive:
    There are so many perks I don’t know where to start! One perk was the access to CBSi leadership. We got the chance to meet senior leaders and hear their stories at executive briefings; I even got the opportunity to meet 1-on-1 with the SVP/GM of News & CNET. Another perk would be the free Peet’s coffee; it definitely helped start the day off right!
  6. Advice for people applying to internships in Audience Development:
    I know this sounds cliché, but be yourself. They are looking for someone who is passionate, genuine, and who is willing and eager to learn. Make sure you have done your research on the company and brand you are applying for. Since this position has you directly interacting with the CNET community online you also need to be able to show you have good judgment, and can communicate well with all different types of people.

Name: Jessie Yen
Year: Junior
Major: Economics
Department at CBS Interactive: B2B Product Management

  1. What were some of your day-to-day tasks:
    I had my internship wide ROI project that I worked on everyday, but I also had mini assignments, like to ensure that bugs were fixed, to gather analytic data, set up A/B tests and report on those results, etc.
  2. Describe the team you worked with:
    My mentor Kelly and my boss Georgie were all super easy to talk to and very accommodating. They were open to my questions and always checked in with me on my workload.
  3. What was your biggest achievement this summer:
    My internship-wide social media ROI report! I had to look for a lot of data through CBSi’s analytic programs, find best practices and past studies, run trials on the best practices I found to see if they actually brought tangible results, and then present my report to Kelly and Georgie. It took a lot of time and a lot of effort, and definitely helped teach me how to interpret data and the importance of data in decision-making.
  4. What was your favorite part of the summer:
    I definitely learned a lot more about the technical side of running a business. I gained a lot of exposure to working with engineers and setting up things like A/B tests that I have never experienced before.
  5. What were some of the perks of working for CBS Interactive:
    Free events, free drinks and food, and some really great people.
  6. Advice for people applying to internships in B2B Product Management:
    It’s a good mix of non-tech and tech. Show interest in this – show that you’re passionate, want to learn, and ready to work. I think it all comes down to how much you want it!

Name: Megan Gonzalez
Year: Junior
Major: Interdisciplinary Studies (Organizational Behavior and Strategy)
Department at CBS Interactive: Business Intelligence

  1. What were some of your day-to-day tasks:
    My day always started with a morning team meeting where everyone talked about what they are working on for the day so we were all on the same page. I spent a lot of time helping out my co-worker with sales performance decks for clients. Making these decks included running some SQL queries (which I learned this summer) to get metrics like the conversion rate of exposed users to considered users. I also Analyzed Key Performance Indicators to determine the most effective video content to use for the audience acquisition campaign to increase web traffic through our main distributing partners. Another task I worked on frequently was reorganizing and managing all monthly revenue and traffic reports for 14 CBSi websites.
  2. Describe the team you worked with:
    I worked with a relatively small team and as I previously mentioned, we had daily meetings, which led to really open communication. The Business Intelligence team is extremely analytical. I shared an office with two people, one of whom was a recent Cal graduate. Sharing an office was a great experience because I always had someone to answer all of my questions and help me with new programs.
  3. What was your biggest achievement this summer:
    My biggest achievement this summer was working on a video project and coming up with a new solution for the editorial team. I created a new video standard through data analysis that projected a 12% increase in advertisement views and a 25% increase in video stream completes resulting in an increase in revenue.
  4. What was your favorite part of the summer:
    My favorite part of the summer was Third Thursdays. Every third Thursday of the month, CBSi would have a themed office party where everyone hangs out, drinks, eats, and plays games like pool and foosball.
  5. What were some of the perks of working for CBS Interactive:
    There are many perks of working at CBSi including a Peet’s coffee bar with free coffee every morning, a popcorn machine with movies playing at lunch, and a really amazing office full of artistic chalkboards and sticky note murals. But, the best perk in my opinion is the flexibility. I went to New York on vacation and then ended up with the opportunity to work in the CBSi New York office. I worked in the Big Apple for a week and was welcomed by so many CBSi employees with advice, free lunches, and a list of fun things I should do in my time there.
  6. Advice for people applying to internships in Business Intelligence:
    Take the time to write a very clear cover letter. Explain not only your previous experience and how it relates to the position but also why you want the position and why you are the perfect candidate. This is a very analytical position and they get a lot of technical majors as applicants but make sure that no matter what your major is, to not just focus on your skills. Your personality and excitement about the position are just as important as your relevant skills for the position. Be prepared to think on your feet and answer a few simple statistic questions and brain teasers. Often they don’t care so much about your answer but more about your thought process and how well you work under pressure. The team you’ll be working with is very talented and wants to help you learn as much as you can in your time at CBSi. Good luck to everyone who applies!

I hope this was useful! Good luck, breathe, I believe in you all!

Kendal Madden

Class of 2016

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s