March 27, 2017

MBA Internship Search: Alec Simon

Over the next week, the Life at Weatherhead blog will feature conversations with students, as they share their experience on the internship search. If you missed it, read the first and the second post in the series. Today we are featuring first year MBA student, and Lean Six Sigma Intern at Key Bank:

Alec Simon, Full-time MBA student.
When did you start your internship search?

I actually began my internship in the summer before school had even begun. About a month before school began, I started to compile an early list of companies that I thought I might have interest in and did research on these companies to understand what sorts of opportunities they had available and to learn more about their history and culture. As the year began I accelerated my search, trying to network with alumni and other industry professionals and take a more focused approach to finding an internship.

What advice from CMO helped you on your search? Where else did you get helpful advice from?

I found a lot of the activities and seminars that the CMO set up, including the resume reviews and the mock interviews to be incredibly helpful. The most helpful part of the entire process, though, was my individual one-on-one career counseling sessions. These sessions really helped to provide a road map to how the internship search should work and helped me narrow in on what I was interested and what types of companies and positions I’d enjoy most.  I also relied upon some advice from second year students. I found their insights to be invaluable as they had the unique perspective of having gone through the same process just one year earlier.

How did you learn about the opportunity? What was the process like?

I received an e-mail from KeyBank asking me to have a phone call to discuss the position. Key had gotten my resume from the CMO and wanted to gauge my interest in the position. I had a phone call with the recruiter and was brought in to interview the following week. I had back to back interviews with two members of the Lean Six Sigma team with whom I would be working. I interviewed on a Wednesday and received an offer that Friday. It was an incredibly quick and seamless process.

Was this your only target company or did you have others?

Overall I had about ten to fifteen companies that I really focused on, so while Key was certainly one of my target companies, it was not my only target.

Key Bank Logo 
Was there a question that puzzled/stumped you during the interview process?

I don’t think there was one question that really stumped me, but I do distinctly remember struggling through my first few interviews. It had been a few years since I’d interviewed for a job and I could tell that I was out of practice.

What advice would you give to other students looking for an internship?

I would advise students to get started early, do your research and to keep an open mind.

What is something that you wish you knew before starting your internship search?

I wish someone had told me to have fun with the process. I know it sounds crazy, but you get to see some great companies and meet some amazing people and I wish I had enjoyed the process a little bit more. Further, I know that I interview best when I am stress-free and relaxed and I think had I been more comfortable that I would have performed better in some of my interviews.

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