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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.