Published: Oct. 4, 2017 By

Most full-time MBA students get an internship between the first and second year of the program.  Experiences varied quite a bit; some of us worked at large Fortune 500 corporations, others at small startups.  Student experiences spanned many different industries; entrepreneurship, tech, medical devices, naturals/organics, non-profit, sustainability, CPG, food/beverage, among others.  Many students stayed relatively local, working in the greater Boulder/Denver area; some of our classmates traveled to California, Illinois, Michigan, and Oregon for the summer.  This blog post will be the first of a multi-part series highlighting some of our cohort’s specific experiences. 

MBA internship experiences

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Lam Helmick interned at DanoneWave (an integration of WhiteWave Foods and Dannon) as a Brand Finance Intern.

Phillip G

Phillip Grigsby spent his summer working as a Digital Marketing intern for Sketchup, a subsidiary of Trimble, Inc.

What was the industry, company size, and company culture like?

Lam: DanoneWave is a consumer packaged food and beverage company that is a subsidiary of Danone, a Fortune 500 company. Danone's Broomfield location, which was formerly the headquarter of WhiteWave Foods, is similar to that of a mid-sized company.  DanoneWave is the largest Public Benefit Corporation in the U.S. I was impressed by the company's positive, collaborative, and supportive culture. Lunch & Learns and leadership's open door policy were particularly valuable for learning about the organization.

Phillip: SketchUp is a computer aided design (CAD) software company that employs about 150 people.  The main office is in Boulder, CO but there are also offices in England, New Zealand, and India, among other locations.  The culture is very close to that of many progressive software companies (we were Google until 2012) and have kept a lateral structure with small teams working together on a variety of projects. 

What projects did you work on?

Lam: I worked in Brand Finance in the Premium Dairy and Premium Yogurt Business Units. I analyzed product margins for both BUs' portfolios and provided recommendations that impacted business decisions.

Phillip: I was hired to work in digital marketing and spent a lot of time working with CRM software, large email campaigns, social media, data analytics, and other DM tasks.  One of the best parts of working for SketchUp is that you are not limited within your role or team.  I found myself working on pricing studies and helping out with other projects throughout the company.

When did you get your internship offer?

Lam: The position was posted late January. I interviewed and received an offer in March. For those interested, the 2018 Summer MBA Finance Internship has been posted on Danone's website.

Phillip: I interviewed in mid-April and got an offer within a couple of weeks.  The offer was for a 6-month position and they are flexible with my class schedule (including the summer classes I elected to take).

If you could change one thing about your summer experience, what would it be? 

Lam:  Nothing! I had an incredibly productive summer filled with many great learning opportunities.

Phillip:  The only thing I would change is that I simultaneously worked and took classes, which can be a bit busy.  Other than that, it was an excellent summer!

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