Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Internship Profiles

Energy is not the first area people think about when you hear "marketing," but for second year student Phil Perry, COMED provided an incredible Summer experience. Here are some details on his internship with the Chicagoland utility.

Internship in Energy / Program Management (Phil Perry ’11)


Experience prior to Booth: I worked for Chevron's Credit Card group. I began as a financial analyst working on budgets, forecasts and securitization. I transferred into the merchant acquiring group, leveraging Chevron's relationship with third party credit cards (Visa, Amex etc) to increase sales at Chevron stations.

What do you like most about the marketing career/internship that you have chosen?

The internship was very dedicated to marketing with a good mix of the strategic and tactical. I had a hand in helping build the strategic direction of the program while at the same time working directly with the creative aspects I so love in marketing.

Why did you choose this career/internship?

The programs I promoted were programs I could fully believe in. Increasing the energy efficiency of ComEd's customers is an important step towards reduced energy dependence. I enjoyed being able to work in a field I have grown to truly enjoy--marketing--while feeling that I was making important differences in how customers consume electricity.

What skills do you need to succeed in this field?

Interpersonal skills are critical. I worked closely with the entire marketing team and the agency, and being able to clearly convey my insights allowed me to make an impact on the strategic direction of the program we were managing. A good touch of analytics also helped to back up those insights. I was consistently called upon to translate external reports as well as analyses I myself put together in a way the entire team could understand.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Internship Profiles

A number of people had some really unique and cool internships this Summer, and Dianna Spring was one of those students. After spending Spring Quarter in Italy, Dianna returned to the Chicago area to work for Harrah's Entertainment. Here are Dianna's thoughts on her internship...

Internship in Casino Marketing (Dianna Spring ’11)


Experience prior to Booth: Marketing Analyst at a Financial Services firm, Sallie Mae for four years: promoted to Marketing Manager for Fifth Third Bank and Regions Bank after beginning career in Strategic Sales and the Management Rotational Training Program

What do you like most about the marketing career/internship that you have chosen?

Harrah’s Entertainment provides a high level of exposure to senior management through its President’s Associate Internship Program. I had a chance to fly to Vegas over the summer and meet the CEO (a former Harvard Professor) in addition to the entire senior management team. I believe the internship experience will differ widely depending on placement - property based locations will focus more on operations and customer service while corporate based internships will involve very few touch points with the customer.

Why did you choose this career/internship?

I chose this internship to diversify my resume and gain additional marketing experience at a higher level of an organization within a completely new industry. The project was rigorous as I completed mini-rotations throughout almost every area of the casino in Joliet. I actually spent time behind the lines with hourly employees in the restaurant outlets and an equal amount of time in the executive offices learning from industry veterans.

This industry requires enormous passion for the customer because it is a very consumer focused company. Harrah’s sets the bar for loyalty programs with Total Rewards. If you want exposure to this sort of analytics based loyalty program then you should learn from the best. That loyalty is also translated down to the Casino host level where they have one on one connections with their VIP customers. There are endless opportunities to learn about a broad range of marketing skills in a casino. More than I could have imagined!

What skills do you need to succeed in this field?

The first skill required is passion for the gaming industry. The other PA interns that I met in Las Vegas had actually recruited for the internship at the MBA World Poker tour in January. So if you are sure you want to work for Harrah’s I recommend networking at that event in January 2011.

It goes out without saying that you have to bring a lot of energy and enthusiasm because ultimately this is the entertainment industry first and foremost. Joliet actually has an entertainment portion of the interview process where applicants must sing or dance to show their commitment to entertaining guests (I somehow got hired without that test).

The second skill would be the ability to connect with people at all levels of an organization. For those with aspirations of becoming a general manager at a property (an essential step to succeeding in Harrah’s) it is essential to connect with the person who cleans the casino floor and the person who serves food in the restaurants. At the same time you must also have the analytical skills required to network up the ladder and connect with the executive management team at corporate. There is also a lot of creativity required to pull off successful events so I would say it comes down to a balance of being fun, analytical and creative.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Internship Profiles

After an exciting Summer interning all across the country (Booth Marketers interned in New York, Miami, Chicago, Dallas, Seattle, Philadelphia, Silicon Valley, and many other locations) and in a multitude of industries (CPG, healthcare, high tech, retail, and more), we are all settling back into school and classes, but wanted to take some time to share some of our experiences.

So our first post of the year comes courtesy of Marketing Group Co-Chair Risa Shapiro, with details on her experience at Sara Lee:

Internship in Brand Management (Risa Shapiro ’11)


Experience prior to Booth: Marketing & Communications

What do you like most about the marketing career/internship that you have chosen?

I’ve been working in marketing for years and I knew I wanted to continue down the marketing path. It absolutely fascinates me that we as marketers can influence the way consumers behave. Brand management for a consumer products company is fully focused around the consumer but it also marries my interest in general management.

Why did you choose this career/internship?

When I applied to school, my end goal was to move into entrepreneurship but I knew that I wanted to gain additional experience before making the leap. Often times, brand management is likened to entrepreneurship because you really own the product or brand you manage which will give me great experience if I ever do decide to start my own company.

I chose Sara Lee specifically because culture is one of the most important aspects of a job to me and I felt that Sara Lee’s company culture fit my personality well – the people are very results oriented, but your performance is also rated on how you reach those results. As a result, the people that work there are very supportive of one another and collaborative.

What skills do you need to succeed in this field?

In my experience, the most important skills for brand management are leadership, the ability to influence those around you, creative problem solving skills, analytical skills, and you can’t be afraid to speak up!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Booth Team Wins Marketing Prize at Business Plan Competition

A couple of weeks ago, a team of Chicago Booth second years made the trip to Houston to enter their start-up, BelliSwap, in the Rice Business Plan Competition - the largest business plan competition in the world! With over $1 million in prize money to be awarded at the competition and judges representing venture capital firms, angel investors and entrepreneurs, the competition represented an incredible opportunity for any start-up and, as such, attracts the best of the best.

Among this elite crowd, the New Venture Challenge BelliSwap team, comprised of Katie Teitelbaum, Susan Gibbons, Beth Krigel, Sara Kaufman, Jackie Avitia, and Jane Griffin delivered a marketing plan that stood out, being awarded first place in the marketing piece of the competition.

But BelliSwap stood out even before the competition started. "We were definitely an anomaly," said Beth Krigel. "It was mostly technology companies and medical device companies...and BelliSwap."

There is a technical element to BelliSwap - it is a web-based business. But that is where the similarities to their competitors ends.

BelliSwap offers brand name maternity wear for rent. The goal is to allow women to maintain their style while pregnant without needing to shell out the dollars to buy high priced clothing. Instead, BelliSwap lets women order clothes a la carte, holding one item at a time, or by subscription, holding five items at any time and swapping out as their bodies change.

The ability to understand this very unique target demographic - pregnant women who want stylish clothing without a high price - is what put BelliSwap's marketing plan ahead of the field.

"It was really important for us to know our potential customers in order to develop creative tactics to attract them and get them hooked to BelliSwap," Krigel explained. "What the judges really appreciated about our plan was how we got into the minds of pregnant women and thoroughly described our target customer's behaviors and habits."

The team used a combination of surveys and in-depth interviews to develop the award-winning plan.

On behalf of the entire Booth community, the Marketing Group would like to congratulate the BelliSwap team on this well-deserved victory. Chicago Booth's reputation in marketing is constantly growing and your accomplishments will only help to demonstrate to the rest of the business world that Chicago Booth has some of the best, world-class marketing talent around. This is one more example of how Booth students look at a marketing issue and tackle it strategically, considering all angles and possibilities. Congratulations on your success and we look forward to the official launch of BelliSwap and to watching the company grow!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Full-time Recruiting is Here Already! - with General Mills

(by Derek Herbst, Booth ’04)

May is almost here, summer is around the corner, and your internships begin in just a few weeks. It must be time for full-time recruiting. Huh? Really? Well, yes, at least for marketing at General Mills. I’m a Marketing Manager at General Mills, as well as the Recruiting Team lead, and I want to make sure everyone knows about our Fast Track recruiting program. (The job posting will open up next week for all 1st year students!)

Before I get into the details, here’s a little background. Unfortunately, General Mills didn’t have an internship spot this past year for Booth. We have had an internship spot in years past, but for the last couple of years and looking forward, we are focusing our efforts on our Fast Track program. So what is Fast Track? It’s a unique program that culminates in the late summer. We identify high potential candidates during their 1st year and then invite them to interview for a full-time position over the summer. Fast Trackers are flown up to Minneapolis for a day of interviews and then can potentially walk back on campus with a full-time offer in hand.

This is a pretty cool opportunity because if you have an internship and you get a full-time offer from that, you could have two offers in hand before you start classes next September. You might not need to bother with any full-time recruiting next fall.

Below are some more details of the program and the recruiting process. We hope you are interested and we wish you the best of luck!

How many Fast Track spots will be available to Booth students?
At this point, we expect to invite at least one to two Booth students to Minneapolis for Fast Track. Last year we invited three students, with Sharon Duchin receiving (and accepting) an offer!

What’s the process or next steps?
There will be a job posting on the Booth system beginning next week, starting Monday 4/26. All interested students should submit a resume and cover letter. Deadline for all resumes will be Friday, May 7th. (To find the job posting, you should be able to simply logon to GTS and search for the posting under full-time position opportunities.)

From there we will select a number of students to interview over the phone in mid to late May. After the round of phone interviews, we will extend invitations to at least 1 – 2 students to come up for a weekend in the summer for a day of interviews at the General Mills campus. Currently, we are targeting mid-September for the final interviews.

Why are final interviews so late in the summer, especially if the process begins now?
We recognize that most students have summer internships, which means that that is their #1 summer focus. We need to begin the process now, but wait until the end of the summer for final interviews because by that time most internships have ended, and students can refocus on other things like General Mills!

How do I find out more information – either about General Mills or its Fast Track Program?
Feel free to send me an email ( or reach out to any of the other marketing alums you might know at General Mills. Also, Sharon Duchin (’10) is also a great resource. She will be joining General Mills in the summer and received her offer through the Fast Track program.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

How I Chose Booth

With the second and final Admit Weekend of the year now upon us, I wanted to take a minute to think back to where I was just about a year ago and how I came to decide that Booth was the right school for me. Marketing may not be the first word that comes to mind when you hear Chicago Booth, but as an applicant with his sights set on moving into the world of marketing after earning my MBA, I ended up making the decision that Booth was where I wanted to be. In this entry I wanted to lay out some of the reasons that led me to that choice – both to help any admitted students who are still wrestling with their decision and as a quick reminder to current Boothies why we are here.

  1. Reputations aren’t everything. Chicago Booth is a name that is synonymous with finance, accounting and economics, but people need to realize that this is not a “finance” school. US News & World Report recently ranked Booth as the number six school for marketing. BusinessWeek ranked Booth 5th in marketing.
  2. Booth is the best place to develop the analytical and quantitative skills that are shaping the future of marketing. More and more companies are insights driven, rely on research and data to make marketing decisions, and are looking for talented MBAs who can use this research and data to drive sales and profits. I am currently taking two marketing classes – Gunter Hitsch’s Data-Driven Marketing and Jean-Pierre Dube’s Pricing Strategies – and both are helping me get a strong grasp of the analytical tools that can help brands and products grow. Having spoken with a number of alums, these analytical marketing courses are consistently cited as among the most applicable and beneficial to their careers, and there is no better place to learn this approach to marketing than Chicago Booth.
  3. The flexibility granted by Booth has allowed me to construct my own path toward my own career. If you have researched Booth, you have heard and read plenty about the flexible curriculum, and I have to say, even after all I heard about it, I can’t begin to describe how valuable I have found it. As I near the end of my first year, I have been able to take courses that will have a direct impact on my ability to succeed in my internship this summer. Technology Strategy, Pricing Strategies, Data Driven Marketing, Marketing Research – each of these classes (among the total of 11 that I will have completed as of the end of Spring Quarter) has given me specific skills that will help me succeed this summer – and ideally help me turn my summer internship into a full-time offer. The opportunity to develop my own curriculum at Booth was a major part of my decision to attend the school and I believe it will pay immense dividends in both the short and long run of my career.
  4. Finally, the career opportunities played a big role in my school choice. I was strongly considering another top ranked business school, but was a bit concerned that so many of their graduates ended up in a specific region of the country and in specific industries. As it happens, I am going to an internship in that industry and in that region, but I wanted options. And I had those at Booth. As a marketer, I had the opportunity to apply for on campus interviews in CPG in Chicago (Kraft, Pepsi, MillerCoors, Wrigley), Financial Services in New York (AmEx), Technology on the West Coast (Microsoft, Intel), as well as numerous jobs in fields such as Healthcare and QSR and in cities from coast to coast. And that doesn’t even touch on the opportunities posted that did not interview on campus (which is how I got my internship), companies marketers met with on career treks to the West Coast, New York, and Minneapolis, or the huge network of alums who are more than happy to take your calls or emails and help you find an opportunity.

Honestly, this list could have a dozen more entries at least. I haven’t mentioned LEAD, a program which I did not fully understand as an admit but found extremely valuable as a student; the facilities at the Harper and Gleacher Centers, which are world-class; the faculty, who are even more world-class; or the Kilts Center. And probably my biggest oversight is the community around the school, from the second years who took time from their day to help me pick classes, write a resume and prepare for interviews to my classmates who were more than happy to help me figure out a problem set and work on a cover letter – even if it was for a job they were also trying to get.

But as an admit who wasn’t sure what to expect from the other students, hadn’t met the professors, and wasn’t exactly sure what to expect, the four items listed above really helped me wrap my head around the business school question and led me to matriculate to Chicago Booth.

If you are at Admit Weekend and want to talk a bit about marketing at Booth, the Marketing
Group will have a table at LPF on Friday (if you don’t know that means, I am sure you will find out when you arrive) and I will be there along with my fellow co-chairs. If you are not able to make it, feel free to email me at chad.young – at – chicagobooth – dot – edu and I will do my best to get back to you quickly.

Good luck with your decision and I hope to see you in the Fall!