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When Opportunity Knocks: Make the Most of Your Internship


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Internships are the stepping stone toward a fulfilling career. Students get real world experience, networking opportunities and industry exposure. That’s why the Crosby MBA Program encourages a summer internship between the first and second year of the program. Some students choose to stay local, while others travel across the globe. Wherever their ambitions take them, all experience a form of growth that can’t be found in a textbook.

Here is a look how they applied their classroom knowledge into boardroom decision-making.

2016 MBA Summer Internships

“Advice to future MBAs: Take advantage of every opportunity you are given without hesitation.”

Tara Hanusa
Shire Pharmaceuticals
Neuroscience Marketing Intern
Boston, Massachusetts

Tara worked on the consumer marketing team for Vyvanse, a medication for binge eating disorder. She was exposed to different departments and functions throughout the company, as well as legal, medical and regulatory compliance, brand planning and SWOT analysis, and never-ending networking opportunities.

Since her primary project involved developing a program for patients, Tara’s role included contacting outside vendors and developing an analysis to determine a partner to move forward with. She contributed to developing a roll-out plan for the program, timeline, and market research plan.

Working effectively as a team, she helped get projects done on time with a polished, and approved, finished piece. The professional development that Mizzou invests strengthened Tara’s ability to best present herself and network effectively.  

“I learned that analytics is only one of the puzzle pieces needed to truly make data actionable in a sustainable way.”

Becky Drebin
First San Francisco Partners
Business Analyst Intern
Columbia, Missouri

Becky started her internship with a meeting with company’s leaders in order to better understand their business processes and vision of the company. She learned about how business is done in the industry, as well as what FSFP’s customers value and need. Although the company is located in SanFransisco, Becky was able to work remotely from her home in Columbia.

Her first assignment was with Google AdWords and Analytics. FSFP recently redesigned its website, but had not yet implemented goal tracking. She put together a measurement plan for the company, determined key performance indicators, and set up goals to track metrics.

“This process was incredibly insightful in understanding what drives goals, which information is relevant, and how to connect the dots of what I learned in the classroom. Additionally, FSFP wanted to start a trial campaign for a particular service using Google AdWords, so I was given the opportunity to lead the creation and implementation of that trial campaign,” said Becky.

Becky looked at analytics as a piece rather than end-all-be-all. Her understanding of how it fits into the overall puzzle was enhanced, as well as her understanding of what else is needed to make data actionable. She learned a great deal, and had meaningful experiences along the way.


“Seize opportunities to meet new people and employers; you never know what doors may open due to a simple conversation.”

Danielle Latchford
Altria Group Distribution Co.
Sales Territory Intern
Columbia, Missouri

This summer Danielle was given the opportunity to cover a mini-sales territory as an Altria summer intern. In this position she was able to serve as a consultant for each store in her territory, tailoring each sales story to best fit their business goals. She was given complete autonomy with her territory, which made each day completely different than the last.

Having a broad business background allowed her to generate the most value out of each opportunity. In addition, she worked on a key account project, allowing her to dive into a chain’s business data and funnel it into a manageable opportunity.

She ended up using this data to better allocate company resources, developing a plan that was fully accepted by her account manager. This project allowed her to utilize her new analytic and presentation skills developed during the first year of the MBA program.

Danielle was offered and accepted a position with Altria, which she will join in December after her graduation.

“I took advantage of the wide variety of knowledge bases gained in the Crosby MBA program to better communicate with people in many different parts of the business.”

Dominic Vollmar
Custom Truck & Equipment
Operations – Engineering Intern
Kansas City, Missouri

Dominic spent his summer analyzing the time standards for truck assemblies for Custom Truck and Equipment, a Utility One Source Company. This included extensive analysis of the current state of the system using historical data. Using analytics, Dominic developed tools for estimating truck assembly time standards and measuring the division’s monthly production capacity.

In addition, he also spent time looking into general process improvement opportunities, both on the production floor and in the office.

“I applied my Microsoft Excel skills and wide knowledge base gained in the Crosby MBA program to better communicate with people in many different parts of the business, including operations and sales. This knowledge, as well as soft skills cultivated during the school year, allowed me to connect with and earn the respect of my colleagues,” said Dominic.

“This intern-focused program allowed me to learn more about the company while enjoying activities in the nearby community.”

Elise (on left) During her Summer Internship

Elise Watson
Smithfield Foods
Fresh Pork Marketing Intern
Kansas City, Missouri

As a member of the Fresh Pork marketing team, Elise focused on using marketing strategies to assist in defending Smithfield’s market share. This was realized through three major projects: executing a competitive analysis of top pork companies, creating sales materials for the industrial and rendering teams, as well as developing and implementing solutions for digital sales support and trade show assets for retail.

While these projects facilitated great opportunities in communications, they also expanded Elise’s knowledge of Nielsen data, how to properly analyze using Excel, and work cross-departmentally to gain a greater understanding of the company as a whole. Elise was able to coordinate with the EDGE agency team to articulate a creative brief and approve materials for shopper marketing plans.

As a result of her efforts, Smithfield gained additional marketing resources and knowledge to draw-in consumers. The internship concluded with a product presentation to senior management within the Smithfield community.

“I was able to participate in fun events such as volunteering at the summer golf tournament, as well as participate in the “Smithfield Experience”. This intern-focused program allowed me to learn about the company while enjoying activities such as a volunteer event at Harvesters, and a night out at a Royals baseball game,” said Elise.

“This organization helped me increase my business knowledge, develop a global business perspective and be aware of the importance of corporate social responsibility.”

Estefania Guillen Pascacio
Ricoh Latin America, Inc.
Marketing Intern
Weston, Florida

After studying abroad for the first two weeks of the summer in Italy as part of the CIMBA program, Estefania returned to the U.S. for her internship. She had the opportunity of working for Ricoh, a Japanese multinational company, present in all seven continents, with subsidiaries in more than 200 with more than 110,000 employees worldwide. She worked specifically in Ricoh Latin America (RLA), located in Weston, Florida.

This office serves as the headquarters of all America Latina countries, including Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Peru, Chile & Brazil. The RLA office has approximately 75 employees from all over the world, which helped build on Estefania’s broad professional network.

As Marketing Support Intern, Estefania helped update of the regional corporate calendar, which included continuous communication with different subsidiaries. She was also in charge of regional marketing meetings and video conferences with regional marketing managers and external agencies. However, her main duty throughout the two months of her practicum was focused in the refresh of Ricoh’s value proposition for higher education vertical.

Having an in-depth understanding of higher education trends and technologies was instrumental in understanding the current portfolio. These tasks gave her a global scope of how a multinational company’s marketing department can transform an idea into a final product.

“Ricoh allowed me to put in practice many of the skills acquired during my first year of MBA. I was able to work effectively in a cross-cultural team, deliver high-quality visual presentations, select, organize and evaluate information, and suggest current web tools to improve productivity of the department. Most importantly was the work-experience opportunity in a total global environment,” said Estefania.

In addition to Ricoh, Estefania took an international Business Course in Italy over the summer. Read about her experience here.

“I learned first-hand the value of the Crosby MBA program’s emphasis on experiential learning.”

Jack Thornton
Business Advisory Services Intern
St. Louis, Missouri

Jack worked in the consulting arm of RubinBrown, with the Mergers & Acquisitions team.  His main task included preparing financial due diligence reports for the firm’s private equity clients.

This required having high-level analytical skills, extremely proficient Excel skills, and superior financial modeling skills. His first year in the Crosby MBA program provided a strong foundation for these skills.

He also put into practice classic finance tools such as discounted cash flow analysis and asset-based valuation.  Professor Tonya Wolff’s consulting course (BA 8500/8600) proved to be great practice for this, as his semester-long project for that course was valuing a local Columbia company using the very same techniques.

“In a new company and city, embrace OPPORTUNITY.  Challenging myself to try new things and meet new people this summer has made me grow immensely both professionally and personally.”

Katie Wells
The Resource Group/Amita Health
Analyst Intern
Chicago, Illinois

Katie supported leadership with standardized spend reports, purchase order variances, department detail reports, and ad-hoc requests via Excel (Macros) and Ascension databases. She produced and presented the year-end supply variance analysis for six acute facilities with a combined supply expense of $250M.

This internship provided the opportunity to interact with various managers and leaders across AMITA Health and The Resource Group through projects and job shadowing. Her job responsibilities also included preparing materials and leading a bi-weekly supply chain team meeting, consisting of 25 members.

In addition, she conducted an audit of physical inventory with a value $10.5M for Alexian Brothers Health System, resulting in a $53k inventory adjustment. The analyst position allowed her to increase her proficiency in Excel and further advance critical thinking, communication and professionalism competencies.

“Really take the initiative to get to know everyone in your office; this will lead to an establishment of trust and can generate new opportunities for you.”

Mary Rudy
Rockwell Automation
Sales Engineering Intern
St. Louis, Missouri

Mary was focused on the sale of Rockwell Automation’s Lockout-Tagout (LOTO) services through its ESC division.

First, her responsibilities included visiting customers on sales calls, and training account managers at Rockwell Automation and Rockwell’s distributors. Secondly, customer feedback and collaboration with employees were key to finding solutions. Through the position she gained confidence in customer interaction and developed a sales skill set.

As a result of this internship, Mary improved her communication and developed a greater understanding of the psychology in both sales and the customer’s decision-making process.

“Understanding enterprise level data requires patience. That deep understanding will separate you from your peers.”

Naman (in black polo) with his FedEx Team


Naman Arora
FedEx Services
Revenue Management Analyst
Harrison, Arkansas

While the Headquarters for FedEx are in Memphis, Tennessee, the majority of freight decision-making takes place in Harrison, Arkansas.

Because it’s a world leader in transportation and logistics, FedEx covers every detail from freight to parcel. They invented package tracking and have grown as a corporation through mergers and acquisitions.

Naman’s role comprised of two parts. First, understanding the process of strategic and market based pricing for Freight, Express and Ground. Second, create value based projects which can assist in day-to-day operations. In just two months, Naman developed a deep understanding of how crucial it is for analysts to understand little things like package shape, size, transportation route, to create a win-win situation for both the client and FedEx.

Naman left a mark on the organization by creating a dashboard for Sales to input an account number and get actual shipment data for account audit purposes. The tool was built in Visual Basic for Excel and he connected it to Oracle SQL database. The second tool he built was in Excel which sorted and consolidated scattered logs into one file, which was previously done manually, saving eight hours of work per month.

“This internship experience has made me a much stronger and confident individual and exposed the skills that I never felt I had.”

Palak Pahw
Programmatic Media Intern
Columbia, Missouri

Palak Pahwa interned as a Programmatic Media Intern at Coegi, a media buying company that brings audiences and advertisers together through programmatic technology. She trained on a plethora of tools used to manage and optimize client marketing campaigns.

Within two weeks she was responsible for entire marketing campaigns. This meant analyzing marketing data and giving meaningful insights and creative ideas on how to optimize campaigns.

The courses Palak took such as SAS, Data Analytics and Advanced Marketing management have greatly helped her towards this internship and apply her analytical skills. Her work was mostly on Tableau, which is an advanced data analytics tool similar to SAS.

“This process has strengthened my project management skills and made me realize how much I enjoy working with analytics and getting creative insights from data,” said Palak.

“Everyone at the company was unbelievably friendly, starting from the receptionist to the founders.”

Rajesh Reddy Gontu
Barrier Technologies
Summer Intern
Overland Park, Kansas

As a construction company, Barrier Technologies needed help with customer acquisition through the digital gateway.

Rajesh initiated and formulated a digital marketing strategy using various techniques from MBA analytics courses to get actionable in-depth insights.

“After completing my internship I learned the true value that financial advisors provide to their clients.”

Ralph Miller
Edward Jones
Financial Advisor Intern
Columbia, Missouri

During his internship, Ralph received first-hand experience of what it is like to be a financial advisor. He was put in a high-visibility position where he was required to interact constantly with clients, wholesalers, and others in the Edward Jones community.

Ralph analyzed the needs of clients almost daily and saw the tremendous value of financial advisors. He had the opportunity to organize two seminars titled “Fraud Prevention” and “Investing for the Long Term” with keynote speakers from the FBI and other prominent organizations.

“The Edward Jones community is ranked as one of the best companies to work for in the country, and it’s clear why. The tremendous support available to financial advisor interns truly sets you up for success. I loved every moment of my internship since meeting new people is something I really enjoy. I highly recommend to those seeking a career in finance to consider an FA internship with Edward Jones,” said Ralph.

“Overall, I learned a lot about this company and the industry through this summer internship.”

Tahmid Hasan
Environmental Dynamics International
Financial Analyst Intern
Columbia, Missouri

Environmental Dynamics International (EDI) specializes in the development of technology aeration and biological treatment for wastewater.

Tahmid worked under the direct supervision of the Vice-President of Operations and Finance. One of his major tasks was creating the new Chart of Accounts (COA) for the company’s transition to the new ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system.

This required understanding of not only financial transactions, but also the entire business model, product categories, departments, sales regions and the interrelation among all these entities.

Tahmid also made projections for revenue, cost of sales, and EBIT margins that required intricate analysis of the backlog, booking, and billing/shipment for the project based sales revenue. MBA courses such as ‘Financial Statement Analysis I’, ‘Advanced Financial Management’, and ‘The CFA Level I Preparation Course’ helped Tahmid perform these tasks. 

Christian L. Gander
Lansing Trade Group
MIT Intern
Overland Park, Kansas

Christian supported the Eastern Grains Group in their commodity trading activity. As part of his projects, he developed a research report for SRW Wheat in the Ontario region.

He analyzed corn futures basis spreads between the Louisiana Gulf and Indiana/Ohio port markets. In addition, Lansing Trade Group relied on Christian to do a credit risk analysis on trading partners. He also researched Brexit’s effects on global macroeconomics with respect to the commodity markets.



Employers interested in hiring MBA students for an internship should contact Crosby Career Services.


1 Comment

  1. Avesheak says:

    All are well educated and qualified.Well done you all.

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