When classes ended for the summer, many of our MBAs remained hard at work, applying skills acquired in the HEC classroom to roles at companies around the world. Summer internships give participants a chance to test out a career path, grow their network, and make meaningful contributions.
We caught up with five students from September 2022 and January 2023 intakes at the start of summer. With positions from Paris to Sao Paulo, they share where they were working, how they found their roles, and the importance of finding your own perfect internship during your time in the HEC Paris MBA.
Arthur Castelo Branco, MBA ’24
Internship title: Summer Associate at Bain & Company – Sao Paulo, Brazil
Job before the MBA: Senior Finance Manager at Procter & Gamble
How did you learn about this internship? I was already aware about the internship program through my own research. However, once at HEC, I had a lot of help from the Consulting Club and HEC Talents (the career center) to get prepared for the interview process, which is quite specific in consulting.
Bain partners from the Latam region visited Paris and had dinner with HEC students that were interested in consulting. During the dinner we talked a lot about consulting as a career path and I was able to connect personally with some of the people from Bain. This experience was key in my decision process.
Describe your internship: At Bain, each Summer Associate is assigned to a project for the summer. They are responsible for one of the work streams, with clear and meaningful deliverables that contribute to the project as a whole. Most of the time you and the team will work on solving complex and strategic problems, so problem-solving discussions with your team, the client and industry experts is also part of the day-to-day, and means you are constantly learning.
At Bain, you are connected to a support system, consisting of mentors and buddies. These are people from outside your project team that can help you navigate the consulting journey and give you advice.
What are you most looking forward to about this experience? Before joining, I was looking forward to a practical consulting experience, where I could learn a lot and make a meaningful contribution. I was also really looking forward to connecting with the people. So far, I can say that my expectations have been exceeded on all fronts, especially when it comes to the people. At Bain I have truly met incredible people, who are super collaborative and always willing to help each other.
Why do a summer internship? I do believe that the summer internship experience, regardless of the industry, is a very effective way to get a grasp of how the day-to-day work is in that specific sector, and to understand if it is the best fit for you and your career aspirations.
Nancy Ding, MBA ’24
Internship title: MBA Product Manager Intern at American Express – New York City
Job before the MBA: Technical Product Owner
Post-MBA Career Goal: Tech Strategy
How did you learn about this internship? Although I already have fintech experience and intended to learn more about AI/ML (before ChatGPT came about!), I wanted to get more exposure to the payments space since fintech is a tremendously diverse area. I initially noticed the Product Manager internship for AMEX on LinkedIn and I decided to apply through a referral I had. My entire professional background has been on the technical side so I wanted to use this opportunity to see if I would like the business side of PM work more.
Describe your internship: I have been tasked with a highly visible project to produce a prospecting strategy/go-to-market strategy to reach more of our top clients with the primary product my team owned. I also took ownership of creating an internal playbook that could be used for other potential clients in the pipeline. During this time, I have interacted with the entire team and had cross-functional working opportunities throughout the organization to gather what I needed for the completion of the project. AMEX highly values relationships made within the company and this network effect naturally turned coffee chats into an integral part of the culture here.
What are you most looking forward to about this experience? I look forward to getting to know more about different teams at AMEX! As a nearly 200-year-old company, they have a plethora of industry knowledge and experience. It’s been eye-opening getting to chat with and work with the various teams here at AMEX this summer. It has definitely provided me with different insights around the payments space and what working in Product Strategy would look like.
Victor Heaulme, MBA ’24
Internship title: Venture Capital Analyst Intern at Type One Ventures – Berlin, Germany
Job before the MBA: Product Manager
Post-MBA career goal: Venture Capital in the Space industry
How did you learn about this internship? I created it by networking. I knew I wanted VC, I knew I wanted the Space industry, so I researched VC firms within the industry in Europe. I found Type One Ventures, added all their partners on LinkedIn, messaged the ones that accepted me and got a few replies – one of which invited me for a coffee chat in Paris. A week later, after a second chat with another partner, they offered me a summer internship role to learn their business and industry.
Describe your internship: Deal sourcing (finding companies that fit our investment thesis), market research (on specific verticals within Space and DeepTech), due diligence (digging into specific companies that interest us – who are their founders, what’s their product, etc.)
What are you most looking forward to about this experience? Learning about the VC world and confirming my passion for Space. I’m 100% new to VC and want to do it post-MBA, so I want to prove I can add value this summer, all while taking every opportunity to learn that gets thrown at me.
Any advice for others seeking an internship? If you want it, go for it. If it doesn’t exist, create it. This wasn’t a job posting, this was a passion that led to research that led to a coffee chat that led to an internship.
Andrew Roig, MBA ’24
Internship title: Head Office Internship – Retail Excellence at L’Oreal, Paris
Job before the MBA: Senior Director, Global Product Innovation and Partnerships
Post-MBA career goal: Head of Talent Development, Senior Program Manager (Technology)
How did you learn about this internship? Carrefours Career Fair/ L’Oreal Day at HEC
Describe your internship: Defining client strategy: customer paths, service and customer experience roadmap 2023-2024.
What are you most looking forward to about this experience? Defining brand servicing guidelines that will shape two new brand relaunches.
How’s it going so far? Networking within the L’Oreal Groupe has been eye-opening in terms of career possibilities.
Cassandra Valdes, MBA ’24
Internship title: MBA Intern, Agile & Strategic Projects – Global Procurement Excellence at Kraft Heinz, Amsterdam
Job before the MBA: Team Lead, Client Solutions – East & Midwest Tech at TikTok
Post-MBA career goal: To work in a strategic role with a global scope at an FMCG/CPG company
How did you learn about this internship? Kraft Heinz visited HEC Paris in November 2022 via HEC Talents (our career center). Several members of the team I’m on now led an information session detailing the Ketchup Invitational (the case competition that is a prerequisite to securing the internship) and the critical role Global Procurement plays within the company.
Describe your internship: This summer, I’ll be working on two projects; the first is an individual ingredient exploration project within Europe, and the second is a team-led transformation-centric project with a focus on operations and process with the other interns. For both projects, I’ll be consulting with various stakeholders across sourcing, R&D, commercial and other regional business units, gathering data and information to conduct analyses and derive insights. At the end of internship, I’ll present my findings to the Global Procurement Leadership Team, allowing me to show tangible business impact.
What are you most looking forward to about this experience? Working in Global Procurement at Kraft Heinz is my ideal internship – it puts me on track with my post-MBA goal of working at an FMCG company I’m working in a global capacity and the internal consulting nature of the role allows me to explore various aspects of a sector that’s completely new to me, while also meeting and collaborating with various cross-functional teams throughout the company. Additionally, I’m honing my data analytics skills, which has been an area of development for me within the MBA. Not to mention, I’ll be living in beautiful Amsterdam for the summer – the best time of year to be in the city – where the environment is very international with lots of things to see and do. I’m really excited about all the growth and learning opportunities that these various aspects of the internship offer!
Any advice on procuring a summer internship? I highly encourage incoming MBAs to attend as many company visits and seminars as possible in the first term – you never know what you’ll discover when it comes to company culture and the different internships or full-time positions that they offer. I never saw myself entering a case competition and knew very little about Procurement before I went into the Kraft Heinz interview process but having that curiosity and openness to explore new professional avenues turned out to be very worthwhile. It also goes without saying that even if you are not perfectly qualified for a job, or haven’t necessarily demonstrated all of the competencies required, you should still go for it if you have the willingness to learn and work hard. Unique careers, creative thinking and different perspectives are highly valuable across most professions.
Finally, when looking at internships, consider the level of impact you’ll be able to make in such a short period of time, in terms of leadership visibility and cross-functional collaboration and networking. It will allow you to both create value for the company, even as an intern, and let you walk away from the experience with concrete results and new skills.