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The Transformative Power of Summer Internships: Five MBA Students Share Insights

by Tiffany Stott

Summer internships are critical to a quality MBA experience. They offer vital insights and a chance to apply classroom knowledge to real-world scenarios.

We recently spoke with five MBA students to hear about their summer internship journeys. From strategizing sustainability at Cisco to innovating operations in the wine industry, these students describe how critical a summer internship is to achieving their career goals.

Nikki Beittenmiller
Nikki Beittenmiller at the Quanta headquarters in Houston.

#1 — Driving Decarbonization at Quanta:

Nikki Beittenmiller’s internship journey began over breakfast with a former colleague. She has a passion for the energy transition, and Quanta Services — a corporation that provides infrastructure services for power and communication industries — was the perfect place to be. As an intern in the strategic operations department, she evaluates new market opportunities related to energy transition issues and technologies. Her Quanta internship will broaden her understanding of energy infrastructure and investments in climate tech.

Dana Vasquez
Dana Vazquez (second from the right) with her Cisco team at GreenBiz Circularity23, a conference in Seattle for professionals building the circular economy.

#2 — Sustainability Strategy at Cisco

For Dana Vazquez, being part of The Consortium helped her secure an internship with Cisco's sustainability strategy team. Through networking, Dana learned about Cisco's work and culture. Ultimately, she landed a role as Rising Leader in the company’s FLEX Intern Program. In this role, she explores the 3P space (people, policy and purpose) while managing and planning sustainability projects across various company sectors. On a big picture level, the internship has allowed her to explore the ESG field and find a niche in the energy industry.

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Ryan Flick
Ryan Flick at DaVita headquarters in Denver. 

#3 — Healthcare Hustle at DaVita:

Ryan Flick’s internship in growth strategy at DaVita — a company that provides kidney dialysis services — is advancing his career in the healthcare industry. During his time there, he worked for a part of the company that generates $2 billion in annual top line revenue, developed best practices for division vice presidents, and presented strategy recommendations to senior executives. In his words, “My internship has made me a better leader and helped me contribute to driving positive change in the industry.”

Alex Post
Alex Post is interning at Chewy in Florida this summer.

#4 — Furry Fun at Chewy:

Alex Post is interning at Chewy, an e-commerce company focused on pet products. She secured her internship by applying directly through the Chewy website and worked there as a merchandising consultant. Her post-MBA plan is to work for a CPG company like Chewy — one of the fastest growing CPGs in 2022 — so her internship aligns perfectly with her career goals. By happy accident, being at Chewy means being surrounded by new furry friends!

Adrienne Miller
Adrienne Miller (third from the left) during her internship at the E. & J. Gallo winery in Napa Valley.

#5 — Vineyard Visionary at Gallo:

For Adrienne Miller, securing an internship with E. & J. Gallo, the largest winery in the world, was a dream come true. Working in their supply chain and operations department, she creates strategies to transform and innovate fiber materials to generate cost savings and minimize waste in packaging. The internship will help her pivot to become an innovator of luxury goods. Her favorite part of being at Gallo? A trip to Napa Valley, where she delved into viticulture and gained a deeper knowledge of wine and spirits.

As these five MBA students show, summer internships are critical to broadening one’s career horizons and staying true to one's passions. We’re excited to see where they go from here.

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