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MIT Sloan Student Blog Archive

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July 21, 2007

I am just past the half-way point in my internship and amazed at how quickly the summer is flying by. Though I haven't had as much time as I would like to kick back and enjoy the summer, I have been enjoying my summer as an intern with the tremendous Sheraton brand team at Starwood Hotels and Resorts. The Sheraton team has charged me with helping change the guest experience and profitability of about 15 percent of their room base. That is a humongous challenge, but a fun one. I only wish I had more Sloanies working with me every day to brainstorm innovations and strategies in the way only Sloanies can. Starwood prides itself on being the best innovator in the industry, and is the kind of place where I can see more Sloanies going in the future.

Besides giving me a great summer project, Starwood has also helped me connect with the leaders of every facet of the company, from the chairman of the board to the general managers of the biggest hotels we have around the world. This week, I presented my summer project to our hugely influential GM advisory board. I can't tell you how grateful I was to have had so many chances to practice public speaking in my first year of business school because the talk went really well, and I even got a few people on board to pilot our ideas.

During the time I have had free, I have been working on the fun events we are planning for incoming students this fall, so stay tuned for more details ...

Of course, it isn't really all work. We had fun at a NYC reception for Sloanies and a big multi-birthday MIT Sloan gathering at Earth in Chelsea. I have also had a chance to catch a few shows, enjoy a Mets game (from five rows behind home plate), try some new restaurants, and get to know my fellow interns from business schools around the country and the world.

In a few short weeks, my internship will be behind me and I will be traveling around China before coming back for my second year. Though I am in serious need of a vacation, I'm really looking forward to another year and a chance to keep learning. Every day at work, I rely on what I have learned at school, and every day I also discover something more I need to know. I just got my class schedule and need to figure out how to squeeze in more classes next year. There are too few hours in a day when you want to take advantage of it all.

June 19, 2007

This has been a crazy month! I was completely swamped, but I wouldn't trade in any of the incredible opportunities I had to work with awesome Sloanies, as well as world-class companies this semeseter. For me, the most challenging thing about MIT Sloan is trying to choose highlights from a range of unforgettable experiences. This last month was just incredible, making it especially difficult.

             

As one of the presidents of the Sloan Activities Board, I had the chance to co-plan the Spring Gala at Rosecliff Mansion in Newport, R.I. on May 5. Though planning the Gala was a lot of work, working so closely with the co-organizers and creating great memories for everyone there made it all worth it. In addition, as a co-president of the Entertainment, Media and Sports Club, we worked with our team of VPs to map out next year, potentially adding a second New York Trek to our already huge roster of treks to New York, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles — not to mention our Sports Conference, Media Conference, and visits behind-the-scenes at Fenway Park (and maybe even Foxwoods). I also had the chance to work with two awesome MIT Sloan women on a Market Lab project, in which we helped Staples develop several new sports marketing campaigns.

             

However, I think the capstone of May was my visit to Nike World Headquarters with my Sustainability Lab (S-Lab) team. Over the course of the semester, four of us worked with Nike on researching the business case for improved human resources management in factories that produce Nike apparel. Nike invited members of our cross-program/cross-school team to present first in Vietnam, then to executives at Nike. Our work was so rewarding because it could help Nike positively impact the lives of thousands of people in the developing world.

             

Although I'm sad that my first year is done, there is so much to look forward to. For example, I started my summer internship with Starwood Hotels and Resorts this week. When I came to MIT Sloan, this was the industry I most wanted to explore, and Starwood, which owns Sheraton, Westin, W Hotels, St. Regis, etc., was one of my target companies. I would never have had this opportunity without MIT Sloan. It was through an awesome alum that I was able to get on the radar of the Starwood summer internship director. To help me prepare for the interviews, a fellow Sloanie referred me to a former Starwood intern at another school, and an MIT Sloan professor put me in contact with her colleague, who (little did I know) was a very senior leader in the firm. When I got the incredible offer to work on the Sheraton Brand team, I made the terrifically difficult decision to turn down offers with Disney, among other companies. Who would have thought?

             

I'll write again this summer to let you know how my internship goes.  Keep your fingers crossed for me.