Summer Internship Experience

In Fall 2011, when I began my MBA journey, I was quite perplexed about the direction in which my career should steer. Determining what job function, role or company I should aspire to during my search for a summer internship seemed like a mammoth task. The only thing I was clear about was that I wanted an entirely different work experience compared to that of my previous work experience. This summer internship opportunity was indispensable in giving me exposure to an entirely new work area and also in helping me foresee my career path post B-School.

Prior to B-School, I had worked in a top consulting firm. Going back to the same type of role could have been easier, but it could have prevented me from taking the once in a lifetime occasion of stepping out of my comfort zone and exploring new avenues. With this thought, I started to look for internship programs that would give me a platform for leveraging my past experience while enabling me to work in a new & unfamiliar environment for a more holistic learning experience. In my endeavor to get a strong stepping-stone for future leadership opportunities in my career, I am very excited to be able to be a part of Thomson Reuters Leadership Development Program, an internship that met all of my predefined criteria.

It is close to 9 weeks now since I have joined Thomson Reuters and, trust me; it has been a fabulous journey! I have been able to make meaningful contributions on my projects that are helping me to grow personally as well as professionally. Here are a few highlights of my Summer:

  1. Core project: I have been assigned a project with the Legal team in Thomson Reuters to develop an actionable customer segmentation model. This has given me a hands-on experience to practically use the nuances of Marketing and Sales, which I never could have learned from books. The best part is that my supervisors and team members have been very open to my suggestions. Even though I am an intern, my ideas have always been welcomed and I have actually been able to execute them in such a short duration of time. I have also organized and led few group meetings, which have contributed in key decision making for the project I am working for. I am also leading interactions on part of my group with other businesses in Thomson Reuters and some external agencies, which is a huge opportunity for an intern. Overall, the responsibility and flexibility I have got on my project is outstanding.
  2. Team project: Apart from the core project, I am also part of a group project with five other interns. In this project, we are analyzing another business challenge that the company is facing. Besides giving me an opportunity to work on a challenging business problem, this has also led to great team bonding with other Summer Interns and multiple presentations & interaction opportunities with the top leadership team of the company.
  3. People: There is immense support, guidance and openness of people here in the organization. I have talked personally to more than 50 people in the company in different functions/ roles including people from the top management, which is incredible. Everyone has been approachable and ready to answer my questions or address my queries. This has helped me in enriching my understanding of the business significantly.
  4. Leadership Development Program (known as Management Associates Program at Thomson Reuters): The Summer Associate Program is a very well thought-out and structured program in the company. It is an impactful program with multiple touch points that enables the interns to know more about the company, its business units, to make an impact in business, network with program alumni, etc. Once an intern comes on board full time, the program offers a chance to undertake 3-4 different functions of 6 months duration in different functions and business units of the company. After this experience, one can tailor a full-time role to sync with the direction one wants for his/her long-term career.
  5. Office locations: Thomson Reuters has offices in some of the best locations. Living in New York for the first time, I could not have asked for locations better than Times Square and 5th Avenue for my job! I also travelled a couple of times to Eagan, Minnesota for work. It was great to see 7,000 people working together in a campus, to see the warmth of the city, and to enjoy the scenic beauty of the lakes.

Overall, it’s been amazing to be a part of this organization, and I look forward to the remaining three weeks. I am excited about the contribution I have made so far, and I am thrilled that I will soon be able to share details of my wonderful experience with you when I’m back in Durham at the end of the summer!

Until then just one piece of advice: Step out of your comfort zone, and don’t hesitate to look for something new for your summer internship. This will expand your learning horizons, make you discover something new that you like, and will be absolutely worth it.

Shruti Gangwal is a 2013 MBA Candidate at Fuqua School of Business. Prior to business school, she worked for Bain & Company for four years in India. This post originally appeared on the GMC Blog