Jeff Hoffman is a second-year student interested in entrepreneurship and technology. He is passionate about the intersection of data science and application, focusing specifically on how data sets and insights can be leveraged to create, refine and market new products and services.
This past summer Jeff interned at Google and will return to the technology firm after graduation. He recently participated in a Career Management Center webinar about career opportunities and his experiences working with Kellogg’s career coaches. Watch the entire webinar, or continue reading to see what Jeff had to say about recruiting, his experience at Google and why he thinks Kellogg graduates are perfectly equipped to succeed in the technology industry.
As a Summer Associate in McKinsey’s Chicago office this summer, I was staffed on a lean manufacturing study for a global pharmaceutical client. I was specifically responsible for improving the performance of five manufacturing lines at the site.
I was very curious about the graduate student internship experience. After a few years of work experience as a full-timer, I figured it might be a bit strange to go back with the intern badge. I also wondered what elements of my approach to work would be different after a year in business school.
First up, wearing the intern badge wasn’t strange at all. It helped that we had about 25 other MBA interns as part of our intern class this summer at LinkedIn. In fact, it regularly felt like a place of privilege – we were treated incredibly well, and I regularly felt very fortunate to be given the opportunity to do what I was doing.
My approach to work did feel different. Here are three things that stood out:
One of the unique tools Kellogg’s MMM program teaches is Design Thinking. Now in industry, Design Thinking is generally associated with agile design houses like IDEO, Frog and Doblin. It brings to mind visions of bright rooms decorated in white and primary colors, full of whiteboards, sharpies and foam core.
I’m guilty of making this association myself. So that last thing I expected when entering Dell as an intern this summer was an invite in my calendar for a training session on Design Thinking. The training was cool (though nothing new for me, thanks to the MMM program). Apart from making me feel even more awesome about Kellogg, it motivated me to look into how such an agile, fast framework was being used at a company as large and mature as Dell.
Outside, the sun shone on a brilliant spring Saturday in Evanston. Crowds of alumni and current students descended on Kellogg to celebrate Reunion, and several other groups were having fun with activities ranging from the Kentucky Derby to the Floyd Mayweather – Manny Pacquiao boxing “fight of the century” — and yet I was looking out over a room packed with first-year students analyzing market trends and sales data.
Few things are compelling enough to attract a group of MBA candidates away from such temptations, but I was thrilled to be part of organizing such an event, one that I hope will go on to become a Kellogg tradition: the inaugural Kellogg Marketing Club’s CPG Internship Boot Camp, presented by Kraft Foods.
The inspiration for part of this event occurred to my Kellogg Marketing Club colleague, Dan Rubin-Wills ’15, and me early on in our summer internships, which coincidentally were at Kraft. Together, Dan and I are the co-vice presidents of career preparation for the club, so we are responsible for developing and running programs that help Kellogg students hone their resumes for marketing positions, prepare for interviews and dominate their internships. Thus, sitting together in a summer training for Nielsen — a research tool that is the backbone of marketing departments at CPG firms nationwide — Dan and I saw an opportunity to bring exposure for this critical knowledge to Kellogg’s students during the academic year, so that our interns could hit the ground running even faster (a summer internship is the quickest way to spend 10 weeks I have ever encountered).
Once we learned that Kraft had approached Kellogg about developing a workshop on internship preparedness, Dan and I jumped at the chance to facilitate what would become so much more than a Nielsen primer, but rather an intensive learning experience for Kellogg first-years about to embark on internships.
I hated looking for a job in my final year at university. It is one of those profoundly painful processes that I really wouldn’t wish on anyone. It seemed to bring to surface all my insecurities and really made me question if I had done anything of note in the past 20-odd years of my life.
So, when I decided to study again, one of my objectives was to understand how best to approach looking for a job. We’re in an age where we’re constant job seekers. Whether it is seeking an internal transfer within a company we work for or whether we’re looking for a role in a different company, it is clear that our age is one of many jobs, roles, careers and companies.
In that sense, looking for an internship at school felt like a perfect laboratory to test how this process ought to be approached. I’ve decided to break the whole process down into three main steps, catalogue my process and then share what I learned. I’ve attempted to bring it all together in one post. It is long. I hope it is worth it.
Internship: Summer Associate of Strategy and Development for the Chicago Cubs Responsibilities: I worked on several cross-functional projects related to the business operations of the team, particularly as the club restores Wrigley Field over the next several years. The projects touched on operational issues, fan-facing initiatives and the evolution of the sports industry. How I benefited […]
Internship: Summer Finance and Business Development Associate at Revelry Brands, a Boulder-based VC fund focused on natural consumer products Responsibilities: I assisted in strategy and operations of portfolio companies, primarily financial analysis and forecasting. How I benefited from this experience: This was my first introduction to the startup world, and it was incredibly enlightening. The opportunities […]
Internship: Global Brand Planning / Global Brand Marketing at Nike Responsibilities: I focused on strategic brand alignment and brand messaging for the Holiday ’13 and Fall ’14 seasons, as well as general management and event activation for Nike Basketball Lebron James and Kevin Durant annual Brand & Basketball Meetings. I was also selected to speak to […]
Internship: Retail MBA Intern, Fashion Business Division at Amazon Japan Responsibilities: I had a really cool individual project to build a new business for the fashion category on the Amazon.co.jp platform. After analyzing the market, I developed a comprehensive growth strategy and action plan, including business models, fee structure, customer experience, selection, pricing, system, recruiting, […]