Published: July 31, 2018 By

I’m focusing my MBA on marketing, with an emphasis on the brand management side. I come from the advertising world and decided to pursue an MBA to help switch over from the agency side to the client side.

MBA student experience

MBA and undergrad interns volunteer day

This summer, I’m working for Danone North America, a CPG company that specializes in yogurts, coffee creamers, premium dairy, and plant based beverages. I’m a brand management intern and am working in the Broomfield, CO office, which is about 15 minutes away from the CU campus.  There are 6 other brand management MBA interns in the Broomfield office with me, hailing from Cornell, Berkeley, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Wash U. It’s been great hearing about their programs and getting to know a new cohort of MBAs outside of CU (although, nothing compares to my fellow Buffs!). We’ve had a ton of employee trainings on corporate structure and building leadership skills, which have helped to emphasize the value the company has placed on our success while here. We’ve also had several happy hours and weekend excursions with just interns, which has been great for team building.

MBA student experience Samantha (fourth from left) and MBA interns hiking

The internship is structured so that each intern is assigned a project specific to their business. I’m working with the Away From Home team, which deals with all Danone products that are consumed, literally, away from home (at convenience stores, airports, hotels, college campuses, etc.). My project has a strategic element, an analytical element, and a creative element, all focused on how we can incorporate Danone products into new spaces and continue to attract new and existing customers. At the end of the 12 weeks we present our findings and recommendations to a group of our peers, managers, and leadership directors. The cool thing about the project is that my ideas and recommendations will actually be implemented and executed in the future; the projects are definitely not just “intern” projects, and have real applications to the business.

MBA student experience Danone swagDanone branded swag out in the wild
I’ve been happily surprised to see that a lot of what I learned during my first year of the MBA program has been utilized in my internship. The marketing-focused electives I took, such as New Product Development and Marketing Strategy, have had a direct tie-in to my day to day work, but the broader core classes, like Accounting and Finance, have been helpful as well, as I’m involved in those aspects of the business here too.

Since starting my internship, I feel like I’ve been challenged every day and exposed to SO much across so many different team functions. The experience and knowledge I’ve gained here will help make me a stronger marketer in the future, and I’m happy that the internship has already proven to be immensely valuable in helping my career.