my first year at Fuqua is officially over.. damn! But..it has been a truly great year.. and the best part is, this year has led me with many opportunities. To have the ability to dream, and see opportunities - I feel - is one of the luckiest feelings one can have!
I thought I would dedicate this post to my internship search and how it progressed. I feel like I did some things right and others wrong. But in the end, I think it paid off... To give you an academic calendar of my internship search , here's how it went:
August: School started, no idea what this whole internship search stuff involves.
Sept: Started attending company presentations after company presentations. Wisdom # 1: Do NOT attend the company presentations you really don't give a damn about. It doesn't matter if they hire ' a lot of internationals' or that they pay so well. If you're not interested, thats that.
Oct: Again, just trying to follow the crowd. Not sure why I went to all those presentations at this stage, and what I achieved from it all.
Nov: Missed out on the Week-in-Cities. Thought I was "too cool" to follow the herd, and go network by going on a 'Week in Cities' networking trip. Instead, I took it easy.
Dec- Jan: Didn't have any luck in the on-campus internship search. Finally realized why everyone said you need to 'network' (and what is that exactly? For next time) to get an internship.
Jan - Feb: Started thinking about which companies interest me, and how I am going to go about doing my off-campus internship search. Off-campus means that these companies do not come to Duke to recruit for internships, rather I have to contact them on my own, make an impression, and learn about the internship process. Harder? Yes. Less competition? Maybe, maybe not. Does having Duke / Fuqua alums in those companies help? Yes, but its not a pre-requisite.
Feb - April: Started doing an aggressive internship search. Sending out emails to prospective employers, Fuqua alums, trying to learn more about the opportunities present, how they related to my past experience, where I wanted to be going ahead et al.
May - received my 1st internship offer: for a non profit in NYC. :) Work sounded great!
May - received another internship offer: for small and medium business consulting in Phillipines.
May- received the offer I finally decided to accept - headed to Bloomberg for this summer in NYC! Yay! Bloomberg sounds like a great place, and excited at the opportunity!
Lessons learnt from my subjective experience....
Don't give up hope. Stay positive. Be yourself in interviews. Be natural. Be genuinely excited about the work, company, culture. The markets are definitely better this time, compared to last year. Numerous, and i mean many many of my "international" students friends at Fuqua have gotten amazing summer internships. Its been a great year for all of us.