Snapshot Series: Ask to Lead

Today’s Snapshot Series features Stacy Reichert. Stacy is the mother of our chapter member Sydney Reichert as well as SVP Strategy & Business Development at PepsiCo Foodservice. She visited our chapter meeting in October and spoke on leadership. Below, she shares a few highlights from her presentation:


ASK to LEAD

Duh. That title seems pretty obvious…if you want to get leadership experience, it occasionally will be necessary to “raise your hand” and ask for it or actively seek it out. However, that’s not the point I want to make. Rather, successful leaders know what questions to ASK to effectively LEAD their organizations. The leader who asks the right questions (even if they’re tough ones!) at the right time with the right intention will be seen as a respected, empowering and inspiring leader. When questions are preceded by an encouraging or expectation-setting remark, even better. This leadership tactic is likely seen in someone who is able to influence, collaborate and “bring others along” with him. Here are a few examples of some common situations and potential questions that illustrate what I mean.

When deciding to move the team in a new direction:
“I have decided that we will need to cancel that project…how will that impact the team and your need to reallocate resources?”

When hearing about an exciting recommendation:
“I really like the recommendation the team is making but I want to make sure we’ve looked at all of the options…what other options did the team consider and how do they compare to the recommendation?”

When reviewing lackluster team performance:
“I know that each of you is as unhappy about our performance in the first quarter as I am…what’s the most important thing each member of the team thinks we should do to turn our performance around this quarter?”

When more effort is needed by the team:
“Each of you brings a level of expertise that can contribute to our success but I’m not seeing that reflected in the team’s work on this project so far…how will the team work differently in the next two weeks to bring bigger ideas that enable us to address the problem/opportunity faster?

When wanting to lend support without disempowering the team:
“The team has clearly worked hard to get to this point …what support do you need from me to help the team overcome the last remaining obstacles to success?”

Bottom line, remember that your team wants to impress you. They want to build your trust in them. They want to know they’re adding value and that you believe in their ability to perform at their fullest potential. Don’t be a leader who reads ahead in the presentation, acts like she has all of the answers or is tempted to just tell the team what to do. No doubt, there will be situations where such approaches are necessary but more often than not, you will want to “ask to lead” and your team will thank you for it!

Stacy K. Reichert, MU ‘84
SVP Strategy & Business Development
PepsiCo Foodservice

Professional Development, Issue 5

Featuring

⋆Reflection: Females in the workplace | Nicole Becker
⋆10 Tips for graduates | Lean In
⋆MAKERS: Women who make America
⋆TED Talk: Why we have too few women leaders


Reflection: Females in the workplace | Nicole Becker

I never thought that being a female was a characteristic that would stand in my way of success. I can carry on a conversation about football and stand my ground in a professional situation.  Throughout my childhood I always thought that being a girl was what made me stand out.  But after a certain interview a few winters ago, I realized that “standing out” was not always a good thing.

During 2012 I had an interview in Chicago with a company that will remain unnamed.  I wore my typical interview outfit at the time:  black suit, pearl necklace, and a bright pink shirt.  Although I had always been told to wear a plain white shirt to interviews, I have never really been a “plain” girl.  That morning I felt confident and ready for a day of pure schmoozing.  I sat in a small room for much of the morning, being passed from one interviewer to another.  As the last interviewer entered the room, I could tell the immediate judgment he was passing on me.  What he saw on the outside was a blonde hair, pink-shirt-wearing bimbo.  And, that is exactly the way he treated me.  He asked me basic questions and talked to me like I was a complete idiot.  He seemed skeptical, certain that a girl (who looked and dressed like me) could not possibly have a resume of that caliber.

I counted down the minutes until the interview was over, fuming and outraged.  Never before had I been treated that way or at least to my face.  Although the trip to Chicago ended with an internship offer, I declined.  The thought of spending another moment with that man, or anyone like him, made my skin crawl.

That interview was a learning experience for me.  For the first time I saw my gender as a challenge that I would spend the rest of my life overcoming.  Sheryl Sandberg has been an inspiration to me since this experience.  She shows women how to navigate the workplace like a man.  She just released her second book this spring, “Lean in for Graduates.”  My primary project this coming semester is to start a Lean In Circle within PSE which will be open to students in all other FSB organizations.  This will be a network that pushes and inspires.  Please send me an email if you are interested in getting involved.

Love and Honor,

Nicole


10 Tips for graduates | Lean In

  1. Adopt the mantra “Proceed and be bold.” – Take chances, stand out, do not fear what could happen.
  2. Shift from a “what do I get” to a “what can I offer?” mindset- Always put the company’s needs in front of our own.
  3. Negotiate- wisely! – Do not shy away from asking for a pay raise. Females continue to lag behind men in pay just because females are too scared to ask for more.  Nothing will hurt in asking!
  4. Break long-term goals into short-term steps- Think BIG but break those goals into smaller, more managable, steps.
  5. Sit at the table- Always be confident in your work and in yourself. Do not underestimate your abilities and skills.
  6. Listen to your inner voice- Your inner voice is usually right, so listen.
  7. Don’t ask “Will you be my mentor?”- Find mentors in an assortment of places: at work, at school, at home, and with friends.  Lean on these people to excel.
  8. Understand and challenge gender bias- Learn to have thick skin and realize that you will not always be liked. If you seem aggressive, keep going, you are doing what is right.
  9. Make your partner a real partner – Find someone who will split responsibilities and is willing to push you toward success.
  10. Don’t leave before you leave- women often start making major career decisions based upon family expectations BEFORE they even are married. Stay committed to your career and do not make decisions now in response to something that could happen in the future.

To read more visit http://leanin.org/graduates/


Inspirational clips to watch: 

MAKERS: Women who make America

Why we have too few women leaders | Sheryl Sandberg

 

Professional Development, Issue 4

Featuring:

⋆Acing your internship | James Rohaley
⋆Why to intern for a Big 4 accounting firm | Emma Laura
⋆10 things rich people know that you don’t
⋆TED Talk: Why 30 is not the new 20


Acing your internship | James Rohaley I hope that everyone has settled nicely into their new summer schedules. I think the other PSE members before me have done a fantastic job of giving advice for a successful summer, that being said I’m going to try to touch on a few different points that I believe will not only help you professionally, but also with your “new life” before we get back into the Oxford routine, and I’ll keep it as brief as possible.

  1. Immerse yourself in your location This is not exclusive to those who are in a new area for the summer. There are amazing opportunities to explore and enjoy summer everywhere. One of my specific goals for the summer is to visit a new area in Chicago every week, and I’ve kept to it. Find something out of the ordinary that you wouldn’t normally do. In three weeks I’ve attended a cooking class, explored museums, taken a taxi boat, gone to the zoo, gone to festivals, and eaten as much diverse food as I can fit into my stomach. Always look to explore new situations, new areas, and new people with an open heart and an open mind.
  1. Be exceptionally concise Always be thinking: what can I do to make this more helpful for my superiors? How can I save them time? Always try to go one step higher than what they are asking of you. If you can save your employer time you will quickly rise above your fellow interns.
  1. Stay curious As we get into July we have really begun the core chunk of the internship. The assignments and projects are now in full swing and here is where you can fall into routine. Always stay curious! It is so important to ask questions not just for clarification, but to understand how whatever you are doing fits into the larger scope of the project. Recognize not only how things work and why things work, but how and why they work together.

Why to intern for a Big 4 accounting firm | Emma Laura Interning for one of the Big 4 firms has been one of the greatest experiences of my life thus far. I am a senior accounting major with a business legal studies minor and I am working for Ernst & Young this summer back in my hometown of Denver, Colorado. I am in the Audit (Assurance) practice line and it has been such a killer experience for me thus far. I am in my 5th week of the internship, with about 2 ½ weeks left until I go to Disney World for a full week to celebrate receiving a full time job, which means you all better cross your fingers for me that I receive this job. Let me take the time to tell you all the pros of working for a Big 4 firm. I cannot even begin to tell you how much I’ve learned in such a short period of time. I haven’t even taken my first audit class yet at Miami, but after this internship, I’m pretty sure I’m set for the first few weeks of the semester at least and ¼ of the CPA exam. You have the option of interning in Assurance, Tax, Advisory, or Financial Services depending on the firm. My practice line is the backbone of the business of the Big 4 firms. An audit consists of an independent team of accountants reviewing the financial statements of a company to determine whether the financials are presented fairly and accurately. To make this determination the audit team performs procedures such as reviewing supporting documentation, having in-depth discussions with employees of the client to understand how key transactions are captured in their financial statements, and reviewing the journal entries that make up the financials. The opinion of the auditors is valuable because the company can then tell investors, lenders, and owners that the financials are legitimate because they have received the stamp of approval of one of the Big 4 firms. Audited financial statements are required for any public company. Therefore all of the largest and most important companies in the world engage one of the Big 4 to audit their financials every single year. Based on the pervasive need for audited financials, most auditors are exposed to a large variety of companies and industries when working in the audit service line. In 4 weeks, I have been on three different clients, and I’m concluding my with yet another one starting next week. For only being 20-years-old, I’ve worked on a company going through an IPO, an international consulting firm, and a company who makes and sells software to oil and gas companies. Now, let’s talk about the benefits. You have an option to interview for a summer or winter internship. If you want the full experience, do winter, because you will be thrown into busy season – working 60+ hours a week and getting overtime for anything over the normal 40. For summer, on the other hand, you work at least 40 hours a week, but it’s a lot slower, meaning you can take your time with your tasks and you’ll have more time to fully engross yourself into the information given to you. Personally, I chose to do summer because there was no way I was missing 3 months at Miami, but that’s just me. Both are excellent options. You get paid very nicely, have an opportunity to travel (I’m going to Omaha in 2 weeks for a client!) and get treated the very best. Interns are everyone’s favorite employees – you get the benefit of being paid hourly and are still treated like a full-time staff. There are happy hours, fun intern social events, and for some firms, you get to travel for training and once you receive your full-time offer. If you’re iffy about interning for a Big 4, feel free to reach out to me anytime at either my email (lauraeh@miamioh.edu) or my cell (303-667-0763). I’d be happy answer any of your questions.


10 Things rich people know that you don’t  My intention is not to tell you that the only important thing in life is money.  Rather, these tips are to spark thought and action.  Financial responsibility needs to start today.  Do not work all summer just to blow your cash on unnecessary technology or excessive clothing.  Take these tips to heart as you continue your internship and enter the “real world” where drinks on the weekend are no longer $2.50.

  1. Start Early- the sooner you put your money away, the more time it has to grow. I encourage each of you to begin a savings account for retirement within the next year. It is never too early to start, you will appreciate it later.
  2. Automate- The best way to protect yourself from unnecessary spending is by automating your savings.
  3. Maximize Contributions- Increase the % you save each year!
  4. Never carry credit card balances– enough said.
  5. Live like you are poor- bring your lunch to work, walk everywhere, and brew your own coffee. Always think about ways to save.
  6. Avoid temptation- Never live beyond your means. You have no one to try to impress. Make the right choices and when in doubt, save!
  7. Be goal-oriented- Do not let your goals be overshadowed by everyday stresses. Stay focused on your coals by committing the time to thinking about them. Prioritize them, and follow through.
  8. Get educated- Know the dos and don’ts and stay abreast of current trends.
  9. Diversify your portfolio
  10. Spend money to make money- But, don’t gamble. Make quality decisions.

Why 30 is not the new 20 | Meg Jay

TED Talk

Professional Development, Issue 3

Featuring:

⋆Money, money, money: Budgeting and saving tips
⋆Not happy with your internship?
⋆Ten simple tips  to make the most of your internship
⋆The three month test | Charlie Biederman
⋆Consulting as a career | Jon Leist
⋆TED Talk: How to speak so that people want to listen


Money, money, money: Budgeting and saving tips

For the first time in your life you are making more than the typical $8.50 an hour.  This is a great opportunity to save for the future.  It may be fun to drink away your money now, but saving can help you establish yourself after graduation.  Here are some tips to save the rest of the summer.

  • Brown bag it and skip the Starbucks. It may be fun to get lunch out every week. But, that can quickly escalate to a $50 expense each week.  Make your own lunch and coffee at home before going to the office.
  • Carpool, walk, or bike to work. For those who need to drive to work, think about using public transportation. Parking and gas are avoidable expenses.
  • Don’t waste money on your wardrobe. Dressing well is important, but learn to mix and match. No need to waste money on a dozen skirts and pumps or slacks and ties.
  • Make your own fun. Go to festivals and free concerts for a great way to save money and have fun.
  • Keep track of your spending. Budgeting is most important. Keep track of every expense and limit your spending to a certain dollar amount each week.

Have fun this summer, but remember that you will have many large expenses upon graduation.  Save now to avoid stress.


Ten simple tips to make the most of your internship

Everyone experiences a steep learning curve when beginning a new internship or job.  After a month in, how is your internship going?  Do some changes need to be made?  It is never too late to make the most of your internship.  The following are some items to consider in the next month.

  1. Go to work each day knowing what to expect
  2. Gain trust early on
  3. Pay attention to the office culture
  4. Focus
  5. Take your work seriously
  6. Ask for feedback
  7. Learn from your co-workers
  8. Dress Appropriately
  9. Ask for advice
  10. Say “Thank You”

Not happy with your internship?

Internships are meant to help students explore company practices, culture, and more. Do not worry if you have learned you hate the company culture or dislike the work you are doing.  Luckily, you get a second chance before starting full time.  You have the opportunity to explore different options.  The fall career fair is right around the corner, so the prep should start now.

  • Discover what you dislike about the company. This will help you decide what type of companies you want to purse at the fall career fair.
  • Network with the other students that are living in your apartment building to open your eyes to other opportunities out there.
  • Polish your resume and email Nicole to have her review it
  • Spend the few weeks after your internship shadowing companies you are interested in

It is never too early to begin preparing.  The prep you do now will help relieve stress when the school year begins.


The three month test | Charlie Biederman

I hope all of you are approaching the “half way point” on a high and successful note. Before I jump in, here’s what I’m up to: I’ve been working with Systems Evolution, a consulting firm in Cincinnati. SEI’s delivery model is based on engaging senior-level consultants in key leadership positions to provide project, process, and technical leadership for client engagements. It’s been an awesome experience so far. Now let’s get our hands dirty.

       Network: With the lightning fast work speed that most offices operate at, I struggled at first making connections with the consultants and my co-workers. My advice? Don’t limit yourself to connecting with people in the office. I understand we are all poor college students, but inviting someone out and buying them a cup of coffee or lunch will end up paying for itself in the long run. If this isn’t a possibility, then schedule an hour to sit down one on one with someone who interests you. Being able to chat outside of the office setting allows you to relax, and actually engage with the person one on one. Understand their current career goals, ask them to reflect on their goals when they were your age, take away something valuable about the person other than they hate it when it snows (we all do). This is NOT about you selling yourself, it’s about you listening and absorbing advice from someone you see as a role model. Have questions ready, but don’t stage the entire conversation. Get to know who you are working with and learn the path they used to get there!

       Set Weekly Goals for Yourself: As the only intern at the company I’m working for, I basically have to swim through a stack of work before I find my chair in the morning. Staying organized and setting goals is what helps me keep what’s left of my sanity. Take a minute on Friday and use it for yourself. Think about the next week: what do you have to accomplish? How can you overachieve and what is most time sensitive? Lay everything out in a way that works for you, organize, organize, organize. Structure your week so you are able to add to it as you work through it. Realize not everything has to be done right away, save yourself some slack time for spontaneous meetings or work that takes longer than expected. As simple as this is, it will not only impress your superiors but it will help you work more efficiently.

       LinkedIn Homies: Working in consulting has allowed me to see just how social the corporate world is. Believe it or not, 95% of us were probably looked up, screened, or at least “double-checked” on LinkedIn by HR before we even interviewed for our internships. LinkedIn is a huge way for you to make a good first impression before you even meet someone, including your future employers. Have a professional photo as your default picture, or do the best you can in finding an appropriate photo of yourself. Next, content is key. Don’t copy straight off your resume, you’re basically letting LinkedIn sell yourself for you, which is a mistake. You want your profile to highlight your capabilities and previous experiences. LinkedIn needs to be an extension of your work life personality. Include links, achievements, and utilize all of LinkedIn’s capabilities that you have to dig a little bit deeper to uncover. Having a clean, polished LinkedIn profile creates an awesome brand for yourself and is even greater for maintaining and establishing your network. Don’t underestimate the power of LinkedIn, and make sure that your profile is something that speaks to both your work ethic and personality.

       Remember; Inhale then Exhale: Even though your nametag might say “peasant” from 9-5 you need to learn to embrace it. It’s not going to change and nobody feels sorry for us. Prove your worth and make people feel bad for thinking you would only be “average”. Remember that these 3 months are nothing more than the business world testing you. We’re all capable and we will all be successful, do NOT crack under the pressure. Deal with your failures as a way that you can improve yourself and your ability to work. So when you hang the nametag up at the end of the day remember that you’re still a normal person to everyone else. Keep in touch with your friends in other cities, FaceTime with your family, explore your new city, eat a Coney, do whatever makes you happy. Make time for you and remember that there is always life outside of work.

I tried to make my advice different from last weeks PD and I hope I was able to give you some insight. I miss you guys and Oxford like crazy and wish everyone a successful second half of summer. – CB


Consulting as a career | Jon Leist

Hello all!  I hope everyone’s summers are turning out to be incredible! When Nicole asked me to write this PD article I figured I’d stick with what I know best and write about the ins and outs of consulting.  Read on if you even have a remote interest in the consulting as a career path.

The term consultant can often be an ambiguous term thrown around quite loosely without explanation as to what it really means.  Succinctly, consulting means that you are hired by a firm as a “resource” and are tasked with helping other firms (that hire your firm) to help assist in solving problems, providing guidance, or helping to make decisions.  For example, P&G may hire a Bain team of consultants to help assist them in the strategy behind acquiring a new company into their portfolio of brands.  DISCLAIMER: Many companies may hire “internal” consultants which are quite different from what I am about to describe.  Internal consultants mean that you stay within a company such as P&G and help “consult” with their existing or soon to be customers.

On a high level there are many consulting firms and each has their own specialties and niche markets.  These specialties can and are not limited to include 1. Strategy (such as M&A, compensation planning, project planning, etc…) 2. Technology (consulting on choosing and implementing new ERP, CRM, and other various software packages that operate the firm) and 3. Human Capital (this includes HR functions).  There are many varying terms that each company use, but they all generally fall within the same range of meaning. The best buzzword to know is management consulting.  Management consulting is the term that includes all of the aforementioned concepts.

Up next is an overview of the largest and most well-known consulting firms.  There is the “BIG 3” which are considered the premier consulting firms within the realm of strategy.  These firms include:

1. Bain & Company

2. McKinsey & Company

3. BCG (Boston Consulting Group)

Note: These 3 firms do not directly recruit at Miami, but are entirely possible to get hired by.  I know of several individuals who were able to leverage their networks to get interviews. One guy I know even got hired by Bain & Co which is typically considered the most prestigious consulting firm.

Further, the “BIG 5” expands to include:

4. Deloitte &

5. Accenture

Deloitte and Accenture are larger in size, scope, and service offerings than the BIG 3.  They generate more revenue and have many more employees.  The primary difference is that they do not solely focus upon the strategy side of consulting.  Rather, they offer what is called End-to-End (E2E) services that start with the strategy and go all the way to post project support. The moral of the story is to NEVER limit yourself to what Miami Career Services brings to Career Fair. There are plenty of opportunities with companies you may never have even thought of.  You are severely limiting yourself if you only consider what Miami Career Services have to offer.

Now that we have discussed the various consulting companies, let’s move on to the lifestyle of a consultant and I will conclude with tips on how to land a consulting internship. To be honest, you travel… A lot. I currently am sitting on a plane at 7AM on a Monday writing this article to give you some perspective.  You typically wake up at 4:30-5AM with your luggage already packed and make your way to a taxi to get to the airport. Once you arrive at the airport you go through security (Get TSA-Precheck it changes your life) and find something to eat for breakfast.  The standard protocol for the week is called the 3-4-5 rule.  This means you stay 3 nights at a hotel close to the client site, 4 days working at the client site, and spend 5 total days working, Fridays being at your home office.  This summer I travel every Monday morning to Rochester, NY to work on an ERP implementation for a military contractor client that makes all of the radio communication systems for the marines, navy, army, you name it.  I travel back to Chicago on Thursday evenings and work from the Deloitte Chicago office on Friday.

The hours are rough (think realistically 9-12 hours a day) with Fridays typically only 4-5 hours.  The travel lifestyle has its perks which include mentally stimulating work, working alongside brilliant people (All the people I work with typically graduated from Notre Dame, Northwestern, UPenn, Yale etc…), potentially getting a top 20 MBA program paid for, no expenses during the week (all your food/drinks are paid for by the client on the company card and trust me the food is good – try lobster thermadore if you get a chance), a ton of frequent flyer points, hotel points, and the thrill of experiencing a new city/region every 8 months to 3 years.  HOWEVER, it definitely has its cons: the hours are long and hard Monday through Thursday on top of traveling in the morning and evenings, you don’t get to experience simply just being home with your significant other/friends/family on regular weekday nights, work dominates your evenings in the hotel with only the relief of maybe getting to workout, and then waking up at 6:30AM to do it all over again.  As a consultant, you are always the first ones in and the last ones to leave.  From a work perspective it is very rewarding.  It accelerates your career more than you could possibly imagine, it pays handsomely, and it has the aforementioned perks. But please be cautioned, don’t ever accept a consulting job because of the pay or the perks, accept it because you enjoy the challenge of problem solving on a daily basis for other people.  Home life may definitely be more important to some and the road warrior lifestyle isn’t the most viable option for family life.

If you still are interested, here are some tips on prepping for your consulting interviews.  For Deloitte Consulting, I had 3 interviews: 1 behavioral and 2 case based.  The behavioral is the stereotypical tell me about a time … As for the case based interviews, there is a fantastic book called Case in Point that helps prepare you for case based interviews.  To be honest, I just reviewed the sample cases on Deloitte’s website – it’s up to you and your confidence in solving problems on the spot and explaining how you came to your conclusions.  The KEY to case based interviews is to NOT get stressed (they often try to stress you out on purpose), and to rather show your logical reasoning in step format to explain your answer. Note: SOPHMOREs, Deloitte Consulting will consider you within the technology practice for an internship!  However, technology does not recruit at Miami for Deloitte so you will have to find a way to interview for a different office.  Last two thoughts – 9 times out of 10 within consulting you will not end up working on what you study in school (I am a Finance major yet work on software), instead your ability to learn quickly and maneuver to your interests once you are within the firm is vastly more important.  Lastly, DO NOT FORGET THAT MIAMI CAREER SERVICES’ CAREER FAIR ARE NOT THE ONLY COMPANIES THAT EXIST. To conclude, please feel free to reach out to me if you have any direct questions that I may not have covered.  If not, I’ll see you guys at Miami and can’t wait for an incredible semester of PSE.

Love and Honor. – Jon


How to speak so that people want to listen | Julian Treasure

TED Talk 

 

 

Professional Development, Issue 2

Featuring:

⋆Internship insights | Rachel Dawson
⋆Words from our Leadership Board | Carley Powell & Allie Engelhart
⋆Do clothes really matter? | Nicole Becker
⋆TED Talk: How to make work-life balance workNigel Marsh


Internship Insights | Rachel Dawson

As many of us begin our summer internships across the country and world, we are going in with the mindset of setting ourselves apart from the other interns and getting that offer by the end of summer. But how do we make sure this happens? What should we be thinking to ensure we make those great first impressions and learn the most from our experience?

I am now beginning my third week at FCB in Chicago on the Big Heart Pet Brands account. My team is awesome and I love my internship thus far. As my days with the company move forward, I have been trying to incorporate a few key things into my experience to make sure I learn as much as possible.

  1. Find your fit During meetings, try to figure out what role everyone plays and how you can facilitate the conversation. Sometimes you may not be able to participate or provide an opinion at the time, but it doesn’t hurt to discuss something with your supervisor post meeting or shooting over a quick email. Be sure to take tons of notes to send a follow up email to your supervisor or a recap of the meeting to the attendees. Doing a bit of extra work is never frowned upon, so show your willingness to do the small things for your colleagues. Everyone loves a team player who is positive and can provide a little insight into something. This also goes along with the rule to always ask if there is something to be done. If you have finished your work, check with anyone around you to see if they need any help.
  2. Set goals for the summer Sit down with your supervisor and set specific goals you would like to accomplish. These next few weeks are going to fly by, and you want to make sure you learn as much as you can during this experience. I set aside three to four goals and discussed them with my supervisor the next day. This allowed me to change a few things and add in points we thought would be valuable.
  3. Ask question upon question Asking questions may be the most important thing you can do throughout your short time with a company. Supervisors and superiors want someone who works hard, but is also eager to learn more about the company and the various roles people have to ensure the business is successful. If you don’t ask questions, you will not learn as much from your experience and may miss out on something that could be pivotal to your success. There are times, however, you should know when to ask a question, or go figure it out yourself. Just try to figure out that balance.
  4. Plan weekly gatherings with your supervisor This has been extremely helpful during my internship. I meet with my supervisor every morning to discuss business for the day, but then have a weekly coffee meeting once a week to discuss non-business related things. This provides the opportunity to get to know your supervisor on a more personal level and see their fun side a bit more. They can give you tips for things to see in your area and other recommendations for your up and coming career overall. I also take this time to ensure I’m meeting her expectations and ask if there is anything I should be focusing on over the next few weeks.
  5. Get to know the intern group These are your people for the summer. They get your day to day schedule and understand the work you do. Even though they may be seen as your competition for an offer, these could be your future co-workers and your best friends. See it as a networking and friendship opportunity. Plan some intern gatherings and outings, such as a bar crawl or baseball game for the summer. Get to know your full time co-workers, too. They know the ins and outs of what you could be doing after graduation and can give you a great recommendation in the future.

Words from our Leadership Board | Carley Powell

So you’ve got the interview down, you networked like it was your job, or they were just drawn to you, and you landed the internship. No surprise there! So now being a few weeks in, what happens next?

Surprisingly, getting the internship is actually the easy part. I think one of the most common mistakes we can make is to assume since we were offered the job, it’s a breeze from here. When actually, all we’ve done is convince them we are worth taking a chance on, that we are worth their assets to invest in each one of us, in hopes they can hire us on afterwards. It’s a two way street – they need bright new hires to keep their company moving forward, and you’re the one they see holding that weight someday.

So use this summer to not only live up to that, but to exceed any expectations they have of you. Here’s a few tips I’ve found to really put me ahead of the game.

  1. The human mind develops its first impression of you in 7 seconds. Focus on your personal brand. How do you want to come off? What will that person think in two weeks when another co worker drops your name in conversation? You want it to be damn good, so the word spreads about you.
  2. Do what you promise. It’s easy to get caught up and want to impress our bosses, who wouldn’t want to? I found myself wanting to take on more and more to prove my worth. But if you can’t actually complete it, and over do it or be as thorough as you need to me, you’ll only damage your rep. There’s more respect given to an intern who knows themselves well enough to say, “my plate is full now, but I would love to dive into it tomorrow. I have a window at 9am – can I still benefit you by helping then?” And if you can’t, they respect you because it’s clear you care about the quality of work you turn in and that you want to benefit the company.
  3. Network networknetwork. There’s so much to be said about the employee who takes the time to not only know their own role, but to understand how their job affects everyone else’s. Set up coffee with people whose roles interact with yours. Ask about their day to day job, see how your projects affect them and ensure you so something to some how make their job more effective or efficient with your work. Then ask them to suggest someone else to meet with. Not only are you learning the entire company’s function and getting to understand a big picture, but you may start to see what roles you could love doing every single day for your career. You’ll also learn what you don’t want to do, which has just as much value if not more. Create this spider network, because it’s never just one person deciding if you come back. It’s an army – and when the entire army knows your name and is saying great things about your work ethic, your values and your drive? You’re in a great position. I found this not only helps you get the second offer, but these people who have left the company that I left an impact on last summer would stop in a heartbeat to network for me and get me a job anywhere I needed. Good people help good people, because they see ambition. Be that, and you will feel such a reward at the end of the summer.
  4. Have a life balance. Stop and play the xbox in the office with some new co workers, grab a beer or bite to eat with them after work, take time to shut down your laptop and go outside, and limit yourself to what you know yore capable of. You will never be happy only working, so make sure amongst your hard work you’re taking a little time to breathe and reflect on the journey itself.

Words from our Leadership Board | Allie Engelhart

First off, I hope you all are having amazing summers and I definitely miss hanging out with my PSE family! I was asked by Nicole to share some tips for rocking your internships and while I know you all are well on your way to doing that I hope some of these Procter & Gamble pieces help.

  1. Define your Work Plan, and then Re-Define it  At P&G we are given our work plan at the beginning of the summer and are responsible for executing it throughout the twelve week internship. After I fully understood my project the first thing I did was create a one-page summary of my work plan that included the background, business question, project statement, stakeholders, immediate next steps, and long term learning plan. Not only were my managers impressed but it a.) Ensures that my managers and I are on the same page with what my goals and objectives are for the summer; b.) Provides me with something to give my mentors and other P&Gers so they can quickly understand my project and provide suggestions for how to execute (opposed to me explaining it to 20+ people verbally); and c.) Allows me to constantly refer back it to make sure that every action I take is benefitting my overall goal. The other great thing about my one-page summary is that it is constantly changing, so as I said make sure you constantly re-define your work plan. Having the foundation allows me to alter my learning plan and my stakeholder groups as I feel necessary and it also helps me easily figure how I can exceed expectations by adding pieces to the plan.
  2. Understand How Your Project Fits into the Business This is not an easy task but it is what makes not only our internships, but our PSE projects, great! Your work and recommendations do not exist in a vacuum; you’re doing this work so that somebody in some part of the business can use it (whether it’s a startup or P&G). Therefore, it’s important to understand who is going to use it and how they are going to use it so you can perfectly cater your work to them. Once you understand who you’re working for you can set up your recommendations so that they are easy to implement so your stakeholder doesn’t have to put in a lot of effort to use it. This is what made Schneider Electric such a great project; we created something that leaned on an existing process so it required minimal effort to be launched. Make sure you know what and who your work is benefitting and then go above and beyond to meet their needs.
  3. Enjoy the Work/Life Balance I’ve learned this summer how important having that balance is though and how it’s not just want you do in the workplace that defines you as a professional/person, but that what you do outside of the workplace is just as important. This summer I’ve hung out with my manager and my one-up outside of work, explored the city with my fellow interns, went to Reds games, played a lot of sand volleyball, enjoyed Riverbend concerts, danced on Fountain Square, worked out in Washington Park, attended way too many P&G Happy Hours, and more. Not only have I had an unreal amount of fun but I’ve built relationships with these people that are far more rich then the ones I would have built just inside the office. I know it’s tempting to go home and crash after work but make an effort to soak in your city and to develop new relationships; I swear your summer will be 1,000x better if you do!

I hope those tips help and please reach out to me if you have questions or just want to catch up. We are lucky to be a part of such an awesome organization, so if you’re struggling on a project or want a new perspective, use your PSE friends as a soundboard. I’d love to help out and hear what you all are working on this summer. I miss you all, I’m proud of you for rocking it this summer, and I look forward to seeing you in the fall!


Do clothes really matter? | Nicole Becker

For nine months out of the year we spend our time lounging around Miami in gym shorts, leggings, and sweatshirts. But, when summer comes around, we are forced to dust off our blazers and put on clothes that are not made of spandex.  The last two weeks have been a definite struggle for me. Having to wear matching outfits and actually shower everyday is not my definition of fun.  But it is a fact of life.  And, there is no better way to ace your internship than by dressing well.

Dressing well does not mean wearing designer shoes and custom suits. Rather, it is about showing your personality and feeling comfortable within your own skin.  Last year Forbes featured an article called:  What Your Clothes Say About You.  And, honestly, your clothes say it all. Clothes help you feel confident, presentable, and rested.  This summer is all about first impressions.  You only get one chance to be memorable, and people are more likely to notice your clothes than any other part of you.  So, wake up each morning, take a shower, and put on clothes that make you feel inspired and empowered.


How to make work-life balance work | Nigel Marsh

TED Talk

Professional Development, Issue 1

Throughout the summer, our Professional Development committee writes and collects tips, articles and videos that are useful to our members’ professional development, especially for those who have an internship. The first issue features 4 articles to help our members stand out at their new companies:

  • First week survival at a new internship
  • Reflection: The key to improvement
  • Tips on a successful summer internship
  • TED Talk: How great leaders inspire action

Enjoy!


First week survival

The first week on the job can be exhausting and overwhelming. Here are a few tricks and tips to survive (and thrive) the first week.

  • Make sure you are approachable.  Stand out as an outgoing, enthusiastic intern. Be the intern that invites everyone to join you for lunch or coffee. Always include everyone!
  • Do not over-promise what you can get done.  You will want to make a great first impression but do not over commit. Only take on what you know you can complete.
  • Learn the company procedures. You may be accustomed to completing tasks a certain way, but be willing to learn how the company does it. Take time to learn how they complete tasks and why they do it that way.

Regardless, stay confident and enjoy your first (or second) week on the job!


Reflection: The key to improvement

Although the summer has just begun, every decision made throughout your internship should be reflected upon. Continuous improvement is dependent upon personal reflection. As philosopher, psychologist, and educator John Dewey says, “We do not learn from experience…we learn from reflecting on experience.”  Reflection is key because:

  • Reflecting on what has been learned makes experience more productive.
  • Reflection builds one’s confidence in the ability to achieve goals, which translates into higher rates of learning.

Spent ten minutes every evening reflecting on the day. Think about every decision made and determine if it was a success or failure. Each failure is an opportunity for the future.


Tips on a successful summer internship

Ryan Boes’ tips:

First of all, congratulations on securing an internship! Whether it be your dream company or something you signed onto last minute, make sure to get the most of your experience. After having two internships and now a full time job, I have a couple of tips to make the most of your summer in the office:

  • Set Goals For Yourself – Whether your company has you do this or not, at the beginning of your internship set goals and things you want to accomplish and checkpoints throughout the summer to make sure you are on the right track.
  • Keep a CRM and Record Everything – This is something I have been doing the past three years and it has helped me many times. Create an Excel file and record every person you meet: name, contact info, random facts about them, etc. You will be able to go back to this again and again. Also, keep track and save all the big decks you worked on and projects you completed. These are great to have in future interviews.
  • Make Use of Your Down Time – In PSE and at Miami we are constantly on the go and being asked to cram 25 hours of work into a 24 hour day. Generally, companies do not want to overwhelm their interns and allocate more time for assigned tasks than might be needed by a Gamma Gamma member. Instead of taking extra-long lunches and twiddling your thumbs, make use of this time! Ask your mentor/manager if you can shadow them or if there is anything you can do to help make their jobs easier. This will pay off in the long run and you will learn more.
  • Never Eat Alone! – This is actually a great book I highly recommend reading. Take every opportunity you have to network with the people around you, learn from them and establish a relationship. Even if you don’t plan on staying with your intern company, you never know where that person might be in 5 years.
  • Ask LOTS of Questions – Odds are you will have a lot of training and shadowing early on. These are meant to help you learn about the company and your role. I was amazed when time and time again a trainer would put on a presentation and ask for any questions and there would be crickets. I made it my goal to ask as many questions as I could and my trainer went out of her way to let my manager know how much of an impact I made in class.
  • Practice What Your Mom Taught You – Throughout your internship, thank the people who are helping you. Your managers and mentors are not getting paid extra to teach you and give you extra work. Saying a quick thank you in person or email can go a long way. Be sure to write hand written thank you cards at the end of your internship and stay in contact with the people who helped you.

I hope these tips help you have a great summer internship experience. Be confident, listen, and record everything and you will go far. Feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions or just want to talk.

 

Taylor Darkoch’s tips:

Hi everyone! I hope everyone’s internships are off to a strong start. Here are just a few tips that really helped me during my internships:

  • Be the first one in, and the last one out – Make a statement by coming in a little bit early and staying just a little bit late. Just because your boss may say leave at 5pm, show them that getting your work done is a priority and get your work done. That way, you’ll have more “free” time and can ask to help with more projects they may not have initially thought to give you.
  • Networking & feedback – Try to get to know the other interns AND the full-timers. Whether you can fit it in during the day or you come in early or go out to dinner, get to know people in the office (especially if you want to go back there full time or use them as references). In terms of getting feedback, a lot of internship programs wait until the end to let you know how you performed. Be assertive and ask for feedback every once in a while. It shows that you are confident in what you are doing but that you are always trying to improve your work.
  • Hand written thank-you notes – Write nice thank-you notes to anyone you worked with at the end of the summer. It makes a big impact. Also, see if you can pick up hints on people’s birthdays and hobbies and incorporate that into your interactions with them throughout the summer.

How great leaders inspire action

TED Talk