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A Day in the Life of a Stern Summer Intern

The semester has barely started, but already recruitment is in full swing, with applications opening up for summer 2019 internships.

It’s a stressful time for students, a time for reflecting on what it is they want to achieve here at Stern. But it’s also the perfect opportunity for those wishing to experiment and try on a role in a different industry. For many, it’s simply a dress rehearsal for a job post-MBA.

Although a lot rides on it, summer internships are also one of the most fulfilling experiences students gain from their Stern journey, as so many Sternies can testify to. Below we talked to five students who scored coveted internships in a variety of industries. Read what each has to say about the experience:

Emily Stall, American Express

After working for four years in the women’s buying office of Bloomingdale’s, Emily was ready to explore a new industry. This summer, she had the chance, in American Express’s Global Commercial Services, the division that manages corporate credit cards and non-card products, where she lead cross-functional strategic projects, supporting marketing and product management.

“I know a lot of companies say this, but American Express really values their intern program. The number of events they hosted for us and the amount of interaction we had with senior leadership was unbelievable. This summer they took us to happy hour at the top of the World Trade Center, on a food tour in Little Italy, and my favorite event–a private ice cream making class at Ample Hills in Brooklyn. On a more career-oriented note, we also had lunch and learns with senior executives multiple times a week, in addition to town halls and presentations with the CEO and his direct reports, just for interns. Additionally, American Express is really big on coffee chats. People are very open and interested in talking to other people (interns or full-time) to learn more about the company and each other.

Even though I had a great experience this summer, there’s nothing like being a student. I’m thrilled to be back at Stern and I’m looking forward to being very involved on campus, getting to know more of my classmates, and giving back to the MBA1s as they navigate the recruiting process.

Tip for Future Interns:

Through all of the recruiting mayhem, try to remember what you really want out of your internship, in terms of both the industry and the company. Being able to speak genuinely about your interest in a company can really make you stand out!”

Steve Carey, Goldman Sachs

Before Stern, Steve worked at 21st Century Fox for five years, most recently in the Strategy and Corporate Development Group. This past summer, he scored an internship at Goldman Sachs in the Investment Banking division, where he was a part of the Technology, Media and Telecommunications Group (TMT) based in New York City.

“The team I was on treated their summer interns like full-time employees. We were expected to contribute like anyone else, especially as we got towards the end of the summer. The work was very challenging and fast-paced, but I learned so much in a short amount of time. Most importantly, the people were awesome, many of whom I still stay in touch with on a regular basis.

I’m looking forward to seeing my classmates after the summer and can’t wait to hear about their internships. I’m also excited to meet the incoming MBA1s and to hear about their goals during the next two years.

Tip for Future Interns:

Enjoy the recruiting process as much as you can. It’ll feel like a chore, but you’re going to make great friends, meet a lot of interesting people and have some great stories when it’s all said and done (trust me).”

Devna Shukla, Amazon

Upon graduating from UCLA, Devna joined CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360, where she ultimately became an Emmy winning producer. She came to Stern to transition into “big tech” and is well on her way. This summer she was at the Amazon headquarters in Seattle, acting as Senior Product Manager, and assigned to the Global Product Safety team.

“The emphasis on innovation at Amazon is incredible. There are so many initiatives and projects – from sustainability to Amazon Go – that evolve and change each day. People at Amazon care deeply about what they do and are driven to high standards of excellence. The Sternie experience at Amazon was incredible. We had 16 of us in Seattle, and two other Sternies in New Jersey and London. Sharing the experience of working and living in Seattle with them was truly a once in a lifetime opportunity.

I am so grateful for such a wonderful experience. I went into my summer thinking that I wanted to accomplish key professional goals. What I did not expect was how personally transformative the summer would be for me because of the new friendships with Sternies that were created in Seattle. I am so excited to continue to learn from my classmates, make new memories, and approach graduation with gratitude and a lot of excitement.

Tip for Future Interns:

Focus on what you can control, and define success for yourself. Success is not defined by getting an internship or a job offer. Rather, set goals and be intentional about what you want to learn and how you want to grow from each and every experience. It is easy to be closed off to new people and experiences – I never thought that I would love being in Seattle for three months! I learned so much by going out of my comfort zone. I’ve learned that no matter what, no one can take your personal growth and development away from you.”

Andrew Kwan, NBCUniversal

Post-undergrad, Andrew worked at Citi, both in Los Angeles and San Francisco, in the Private Banking division. He spent his summer at NBCUniversal in Los Angeles as a product development and strategy intern with their digital distribution team.

“What really made my summer memorable was how incredible my team at NBCU was, which even included several Stern alumni. The team ensured that my summer was filled with projects that aligned with my interests, and they introduced me to a breadth of people throughout the company. One of the coolest parts of being an intern at NBCU were the incredible speakers they brought in, including Ron Meyer (Vice Chairman of NBCUniversal) and Andy Cohen.

During my summer internship I got to explore an area completely different from my previous work experience. It reinforced the reasons why I originally decided to enroll in business school and has made me even more excited to create strategic changes in evolving industries. I’m excited to bring my experiences from this summer into the classroom and to see the commonalities and differences between my classmates and my experiences.

Tip for Future Interns:

Make time for yourself and know that everything works out in the end. The summer is meant to explore new opportunities and is a low risk environment to try literally anything.”

Anthony Russ, Ernst & Young

Prior to Stern, Anthony worked for a construction management company in New England in a strategic operations role (akin to an internal consultant). This past summer he was in Ernst & Young’s OTS group (M&A advisory, essentially) in their New York office, where he worked in the Working Capital practice, with a focus on optimizing the inventory management practices for a global pharmaceutical client.

“I had a great summer experience. I learned a lot in the work, but the best part was the team I was on. Everyone definitely worked hard but also kept things in perspective, and there was a big focus on team building events and ensuring that everyone’s personal lives were in order, too. A couple of the highlights here were going to a Yankees game and going to Kick Axe in Brooklyn. Seeing the partner on my project throwing an axe wearing a fake viking beard and helmet is something that will stick with me!

Returning to Stern this semester is an interesting feeling, because it is so different than the fall last year. A sense that the craziness of last fall was worth it. I am looking forward to focusing on building the relationships I’ve made with my classmates who I haven’t seen all summer. It is something I didn’t really prioritize last fall, and I definitely regret it.

Tip for Future Interns:

The biggest thing for me is keeping everything in perspective. I fell prey to second guessing myself and judging my recruiting plan against others. The biggest advice I’d give is make sure you are recruiting for what you want, and in a way that will bring the best you to the table. Also, remember what got you to Stern! Everyone here is incredibly bright and extraordinarily qualified, so lean into your successes and be proud of what you offer.”

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