March 22, 2017

MBA Internship Search: Lauren de Camara

Over the course of a MBA students' first year, Fall semester is spent adjusting to courses while beginning the extensive internship search, and the Spring semester is spent interviewing and determining where they will be working during the summer. Over the last few weeks students have been informing us of their internship opportunities. The Weatherhead Career Management Office congratulates everyone who has been successful in their search, and to those still on the search – don’t give up! We encourage all students to meet with us to assist in their internship search. Our doors are open and we want to see everyone achieve an internship opportunity.

Over the next week, the Life at Weatherhead blog will feature conversations with 3 students, as they share their experience on the internship search.  Today we are featuring Lauren De Camara, first-year MBA student, and Human Resources/Organizational Development Intern at Eaton Corporation:

When did you start your internship search?
I started my search at the very beginning of the school year. I knew that not every company was
hiring at the moment for internships the following summer but I thought it would be a good idea to at least start getting acquainted with the searching process and get my information/documents in order. This included visiting CMO to come up with a game plan in how best to tackle the search, attending the campus career fair and putting the tools I learned from professional development to use.

What advice from CMO helped you on your search? Where else did you get helpful advice from?
I spoke with CMO a few times during the fall semester throughout my search. I really liked to use them as a guide and check in with them (almost as a way for them to hold me accountable). It’s really easy to let the search go by the wayside when school work starts to ramp up, so seeing the CMO regularly helped me to keep on top of the search as well as my regular work. Each time I met with them I would have a list of updates as well as a list of questions that I wanted to talk about during the meeting. CMO also helped me to leverage the Weatherhead network to gain insights into positions I was looking for. With their guidance, I started to reach out to faculty members (Dr. Van Oosten) and alumni (Coffee Connection) to ask questions and just gain general knowledge about the field. This helped me narrow down what I was looking for in way of positions and how best to reach these positions.

How did you learn about the opportunity? What was the process like?
I actually learned about the opportunity from LinkedIn. I had a saved search on the site that I checked each day for new postings. One day in November while I was completing my daily search, I came across a posting for Eaton’s Human Resources Leadership Development rotational program. I reviewed the job tasks as well as qualifications and Eaton’s site and thought that this would be a really great opportunity. I applied online and got an email about a week later asking to schedule a phone interview. I had Eaton’s phone interview and was immediately asked to come in for an in person interview. That round of interviews was with two of their managers, one hour for each. While I was on-site there were several other applicants for a variety of internships so I got a chance to talk with them and other Eaton faculty. Through this I learned more about Eaton and what their culture is like. I really enjoyed my time at their office and walked out of the interview being even more excited than I was walking in. Shortly after I received a call offering an internship position for the summer. Needless to say, I was thrilled!

Was this your only target company or did you have others?
While I was very excited about Eaton, it was not my only target. More than anything I was focused on gaining valuable/meaningful experience over what company it would be with. I knew that Organizational Behavior was something that I really wanted to pursue so rather than focusing on big corporate names, I zeroed in on position title and the experience that I could potentially gain.

Was there a question that puzzled/stumped you during the interview process?
There was one question that I was a little caught off guard by, when asked about a time my ethics were tested (When have I been in a situation where I witnessed unethical behavior and what did I do about it?). I had prepared several behavioral based interviewing questions, drawing on my professional experience in a variety of ways but this question caught me off guard in that it wasn’t necessarily directly related to a school or work event. Eaton takes ethics extremely seriously and had I expanded my preparation beyond the standard behavioral based interview questions, I could have perhaps anticipated this question a little better. Moral of the story: prepare the behavioral based interviewing questions but also do some searching to brainstorm questions that relate to a company’s culture/values as well.

What advice would you give to other students looking for an internship?
Start early, be persistent, use your network, and most importantly be true to what field(s) you’re interested in. If you have a particular interest whether it be marketing, finance or HR, that interest will shine through when you interview. I think employers look for dedication and passion and both of those qualities are hard to fake. I also found that when the search got tough, I pictured how worth it it would be once I find a position that was a good fit. That excitement is what helped me to continue the search even on days when it wasn’t necessarily the first thing I wanted to be working on!

What is something that you wish you knew before starting your internship search?
For me personally, I wish I had better understood the nature of positions in Organizational Behavior. The company I had worked for since college had a specific Organizational Behavior function and I had assumed that this was standard with all companies but in reality not every company has it designated that way. Some companies compile OB with Human Resources and some don’t have an OB function at all. That being the case, the position titles are greatly varied within OB and Organizational Development so there wasn’t a title I could just do a search on and get results. Instead it took looking into the descriptions of a variety of positions to determine where that position fell in the HR/OB scale. I think I’d just assumed that it was a one size fits all with regard to naming conventions but it definitely wasn’t the case and because of that, it made searching a little more challenging.

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