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February 4, 2020

How to get that business internship: Advice from an iX alum

Written by

Drew Lemke

Interview with iX Alum, Drew Lemke – University of Michigan 2021, iX Management Consulting 2019

You know those kind of people who are just born for business? Who can make you excited about pretty much any product or idea? That's Drew. His natural enthusiasm for the world of suits and commerce swag combined with his tenacity and hard work, landed him a sweet interning gig with Procter and Gamble.  If you aspire to do the same, read on for his tips, tools, tricks. This kid's going places.

1. Tell us about your new role! What will it involve you doing?

I’m really excited to be working as a Purchasing Intern at Procter & Gamble this summer in Cincinnati. This position will entail working with the company’s supply chain, marketing, and business development functions in order to make sure that products such as Tide, Swiffer, and Febreeze are available at the best costs possible, for both consumers and P&G. I am looking forward to applying strategic and analytic thinking to further grow my skillset and impact the operations of an industry-leading firm.

2. You've honed in on business as a career path (for now). Why did you choose this path? What are you studying that supports this?

I am currently a Junior at the University of Michigan studying Economics, Marketing, and Entrepreneurship— a combination that has been very conducive to entering a business role that incorporates analytics, communication, and innovation. Personally, working in business has always been appealing because of my interest in learning continuously about new areas that I can impact with my skillset. Whether it be working in a consulting position or in a rotational program at a large firm, the business world presents me with an opportunity to apply my academic background & communicative skills and adapt them to several industries that play a key role in the economy, where I can actually see the results of my work unfold.

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Drew in Camps Bay, iX Cape Town 2019

3. How did you land the internship? What did you do to prepare for it?

Landing the internship came down to a lot of things, but I believe some of the major keys were motivation, preparation, and genuine curiosity.

Searching for a job is not something that can be completed with one shot— it’s important to think about what skills you can bring to the table, then seek out the opportunities that fit those skills well.

After getting the interview, study the company & specific position to help you prepare and think critically about how your summer experiences will allow you to be successful in that role. Finally, bringing a sense of curiosity with me throughout the recruiting process and into each interview was definitely beneficial because it allowed me to open my mind to different types of jobs, show excitement, and envision how these roles might play into my career path down the road.

For me, after coming into iX with no true idea of what I wanted to do, the program really helped to show me what roles I could be successful in and why.

5. What was the interview process like? What advice would you give to other students who might go through the same process?

The interview process was long and challenging, but very rewarding. Reviewing your resume as well as the job posting, practicing cases, and writing down condensed versions of your answers before you go into an interview will help in your preparation and bring stress levels down during an interview. Usually there are 2-3 rounds of interviews, with the last one being on their campus. Prepare for each of them specifically by considering the information that a company gives you, which may include practice materials, interviewer names, etc.

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Drew skydiving

6. What do you think made you a stand-out candidate? What can others do to elevate themselves?

I think that my experiences in several different industries as well as the initiatives I have taken to step out of my comfort zone and succeed have made me a unique candidate. It really helps to bring a breadth of experience to the table to show that you are able to adapt your skillset and communicate effectively in unfamiliar settings. For others, I think that it will be helpful to try working in different areas that can provide you with new perspectives and to put yourself in a situation you haven’t been in before. That might mean entering into a case competition at your school, joining a club doesn’t coincide with your major, or working on a consulting project in a new industry in Cape Town. When I looked back, each of those things helped me massively.

7. How did your experience at iX impact your career? What did you learn that helped you along your path?

At iX, I learned so much about what it takes to be successful in business, how to land a job, how to communicate professionally, you name it.  Not only this, but iX makes it possible for students to grow by unlocking valuable insights from experienced professionals (with whom you’ll forge close connections).  The iXperience program allows students to do so many things that would not be feasible otherwise. 

This past summer, I completed an internship with a biomedical devices startup (an area I had no experience with) in Cape Town, South Africa (a country I had never been to).  Stepping into this unfamiliar environment allowed me to be challenged, truly understand my strengths & interests, and come across some of the most epic experiences and people I could ever imagine. 

All in all, this summer truly allowed me to gain an understanding of the things that make my personality and background unique, and then work with program advisors to leverage those attributes in order to set myself apart professionally.  If doing that in one of the world’s greatest cities sounds fun to you, then I am confident that you will find no opportunity better than iXperience.

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