Internship Insights from Haas Students

Chances are you or someone you know is recruiting for an internship right now. “Where do I want to work? What am I looking for in an internship? What’s the culture like?” – these are questions Haas students frequently think about. Whether it’s networking at info sessions, reaching out to firms, or doing online research, we are all taking steps to find the best fit for our internship. Fortunately, some of the best internship insights can be found within the Haas community!

To kick off the recruiting season, here are recent internship highlights from a few of our own students:


tumblr

Richard Lui (Haas ‘17)

Company: Tumblr

Position: Ad Operations Intern

What made your internship meaningful?

I was motivated by the fact that my team was monetizing a billion-dollar social media platform. The ad product and operations team was the only profitable vertical at the company and figuring how to balance the monetization while keeping social media users happy is one of the most exciting challenges in the tech space. I also had the chance to work at the Yahoo NY office (Yahoo owns Tumblr) and worked across different teams (Yahoo Search + Tumblr finance). Tumblr expects interns to dive into their work on the 2nd or 3rd day and treats them like full-time employees, regardless of whether you’re a sophomore or senior –this pushed me to learn a lot over the summer.

Unique events:

Some examples include joint mixers with Etsy and Buzzfeed interns, Intern Speakr series (one non-technical and technical manager comes to talk to us every week), Weekly show and tell where employees share hobbies and interests, Happy hours every other day, Food Truck Wednesdays (Tumblr rents out some of NY’s best food trucks and gets them to feed the company at our door). I even had the chance to have lunch with the CEO (David Karp) in a group setting! I also got to meet Mac Miller at a happy hour.

Culture:

In a couple of adjectives, the culture at Tumblr is: supportive, inclusive, and generous. Beyond the amazing office layout, office management, and the daily perks of food/drinks/space, I definitely think it’s the way people just joke around and have fun at the office that truly makes Tumblr a special place to work. People willingly come in during the weekends to work at our treadmill desks, play foosball and hangout in our lounges.

Advice to Future Interns:

Apply to Tumblr, invest yourself in your team’s work, get to know as many people as you can at the office, go to all the Happy hours, and eat to your heart’s content.

Life Lessons:

Talking to the CEO (David Karp is 29 and worth over 200M) – his life story and presence really inspires you to chase after your passions and what you truly believe in. I also got to hear about the social/professional backgrounds of a lot of Tumblr managers in different teams and they’re all super amazing. It’s really different from the strictness of finance.


accentureJean Song (Haas ‘17)

Company: Accenture

Position:  Management Consulting Summer Analyst

What made your internship meaningful?

It was so exciting and challenging to be such an integral part of the team on one of Accenture’s largest projects. I never once felt like the intern! Almost everything I worked on was seen by the client executives.

On only my second day, a partner at Accenture IM’ed me at 11 pm that night to ask if I could finish a really important client presentation for him. I got to have dinner with him as well as many other Managing Directors, Partners, and client VPs over the summer, which was probably the best networking experience I could have gotten.

I was lucky enough to get staffed on a project that let me travel occasionally, giving me a solid introduction to the real consulting lifestyle. There was one intern who I was friends with that had to travel weekly to Texas from SF for her project! I got to fly out to Pasadena and San Diego for my work throughout the summer. It was incredibly fun and definitely something I didn’t mind doing!

Unique events:

There were many coffee chats/breakfasts with Managing Directors in the San Francisco office every Friday as well as really great networking events. All of the 400+ interns across the nation were flown into the Chicago area to attend an Accenture intern leadership conference during the middle of the summer.

The Sunday before our first day, all the Bay Area interns got a private cable car to drive us all around San Francisco including Nob Hill and the Golden Gate Bridge. There were so many intern dinners, a bouncy house social, Giants games, Happy Hours, and a service event at Baker Beach. I know some of the interns got to go to free concerts!

Culture:

The people at Accenture are incredibly friendly, smart, and fun! The San Francisco and San Jose office especially have a pretty laid-back culture.  I love how extensive the Accenture network is and the fact that the firm has so many incredible projects, global offices, and supportive resources.

Advice to Future Interns:

Seek every opportunity you can to learn something new and take on a challenging project or task. More importantly, be open to getting constant feedback. If feedback isn’t given to you on a regular basis, ASK for it!

I think one of the best things I did was go into my project with a list of goals I wanted to accomplish for the summer. I scheduled a coffee chat with my manager on my first day to review my goals so he would know what I hoped to learn and work on this summer. I was able to check off all my goals and had an incredible summer experience.

Life Lessons:

Before working at Accenture, I never realized how much truth there is in the fact that the people you work with are a huge determining factor in whether you will enjoy and/or succeed at your career. At any job you will do, there’s going to be at least a few times when you’re cranking out insane hours. Liking the people sitting around you are what will get you through those hours/days/weeks. The people I got to meet at Accenture are definitely what I miss the most about my summer!


goldman sachs

Sunny Huang (Haas ‘16)

Company: Goldman Sachs

Position: Internet Equity Research Summer Analyst

What made your internship meaningful?

Because I covered the Internet sector in equity research, I worked on rapidly growing companies such as Netflix, Amazon, eBay, Lending Club, and Twitter. It was very interesting having the opportunity to learn about each company’s business model and what drives their growth. As well, I enjoyed thinking about these companies from an investor’s perspective and understanding what our clients care about.

Unique events:

My favorite event was when the firm took us to Escape the Room in New York. We were split up into groups of eight and were put into a murder mystery-esque room with clues to find the key out of the room. Although none of the teams managed to escape, it was definitely a highlight of the summer spending the afternoon with my intern class trying to figure out the clues to escape. In addition, the firm also hosts many other intern events such as a fireside chat with CEO Lloyd Blankfein, a Yankees game, and happy hours.

Culture:

As cliché as it sounds, your internship really is what you make of it. My internship was very unstructured, and I had to take responsibility for my own learning. The workplace provides a completely different and exciting learning platform from what we’re accustomed to at school. Especially during the first few weeks of your internship, you’re essentially getting paid to learn, which is really a very exciting thing. I spent a lot of time reading reports, doing my own research, and taking advantage of the firm’s resources.
Advice to Future Interns:

Take advantage of the wealth of resources available to you and use it as an opportunity to learn about yourself and your potential career trajectory. Be sure to grab coffee with some of the full-time professionals at the firm. They have a lot of experience and knowledge that you can pick their brains about.

Life Lessons:

Goldman was a particularly interesting place to work because of its sheer scale. It has many other divisions outside of investment research, and the firm encouraged interns to explore other career options. As such, I had the opportunity to learn about the intricate workings of an investment bank and the many other services Goldman offers.


linkedin

Jessica Welsh (Haas ‘16)

Company: LinkedIn

Position: Human Resource Intern

What made your internship meaningful?

At LinkedIn, I was treated as a full-time employee. There was no segregation between “interns” and other employees. I was assigned meaningful projects where I was actually able to make an impact on the company, to challenge processes, and to design innovative solutions. I was proud to be a part of a company that has such a strong culture that resonates throughout every aspect of the company: the company “All-Hands,” the team projects, the delicious cafeteria lunches, you name it.

Unique events:

LinkedIn killed it at the intern events. The events were impactful, beneficial, and fun! We had a mix of professional growth events such as interviews, speaker panels, and profile building workshops, as well as relationship-building events such as BBQ’s, Ice Cream parties, Hackathons, Disneyland trips, and team outings. Through these events, I learned valuable advice and life-lessons from remarkable mentors including CEO Jeff Weiner, Senior VP of HR Pat Wadors, and Co-founder Reid Hoffman. All the while, I was able to connect with interns within and outside of my department.  

Culture:

LinkedIn solidified my belief in “culture fits.” I was in awe at how well their recruiting process worked; every person I met at LinkedIn shared core values that connected our unique personalities — humor, drive, honesty, selflessness, and courage. The people at LinkedIn are the type of people who drop what they’re doing to help someone with a project, people who take full ownership of their projects (successes and failures), people who challenge the process to always innovate and always grow. We get our work done, get it done well, and have fun while doing it! My favorite part of the firm is the people. It was amazing to experience how a group of young, diverse minds from completely different backgrounds collaborate to create innovative solutions.

Advice to Future Interns:

Stay curious, commit fully to everything you do, and say “yes.” LinkedIn offers so many opportunities to connect, to grow personally and professionally, and to take risks. LinkedIn prioritizes talent, whether it comes from an intern or a top executive. If you have an innovative idea, share it. Take intelligent risks and say “yes” to opportunities and passions that intrigue you. You won’t know if you enjoy something until you try. Last of all, always remember that you are an Intern first. As an intern, you are expected and encouraged to take time to explore yourself, to explore different parts of the company that you are curious about. LinkedIn acts as an incubator to help you find what you actually enjoy doing. Fully commit to the opportunities you say “yes” to and take advantage of all of the resources you have to explore your passions.

Life Lessons:

I learned the power of following my passions, of taking small steps towards my interests. It’s easy to theorize or read about what I want to do, but talking with someone who does it or actually doing it are so much more valuable. Every step I take toward my interests and passions expose new insights that I never could have reached had I not said “yes” to opportunity.

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