A couple of months ago I was preparing for one of the hardest things I have ever done, trying to convince amazing companies that I was the right fit and have the skills to thrive in a Consumer Insights role in their company, with only one month of true marketing research experience. Talk about an insurmountable task right?
The internship interview process is a gauntlet, often described as a huge emotional rollercoaster, one that comes with the highest of highs by landing your top internship and the lowest of lows by unfortunately, not receiving such great news. But it is a journey that ALL A.C. Nielsen students go through, victoriously! The A.C. Nielsen class of 2017 has 14 wonderful, bright and hard working individuals who are the marketing leaders of tomorrow. Today 13 of my colleagues have internship offers, and some are visiting these companies to weigh multiple offers, while others have already accepted internship offers for the summer. We are well on our way to the A.C. Nielsen Center's 100% internship placement record.
You might be asking yourself, how did this group of career switchers receive internship offers from the most influential companies in the marketing research field with only a few short months of experience? The answer is simple: Support.
It was support from our Center Director, Kristin Branch, and Career & Leadership Development Director, Gina Jenkins, to get us prepared to match our experience with some of the toughest behavior based interview questions. It was support from industry mentors (each Nielsen student is gifted with two executive board member mentors) who teach us exactly what they look for in candidates so we know exactly the skills we need to demonstrate in order to land an offer. It was support from second year A.C. Nielsen students who worked and worked and worked tirelessly with us on our stories, getting us prepared to execute. And, last but certainly not least, our fellow first years supporting each other in the ups and downs that come with our internship search. We cheered and congratulated when those receiving offers let us know and supported those who hit bumps in the road on their search for good news.
Also it does not hurt that the internship process is very pro-student. Out of 14 students we had 30 internship opportunities, most companies who recruit on campus have multiple positions open! These companies (Walmart, Procter & Gamble, General Mills, PepsiCo, SC Johnson, eBay, WhiteWave, to name a very few) know that A.C. Nielsen students have been vetted and will be trained to hit the ground running from day one to make an impact in their business. From that perspective, our job, during internship season, is to show our desire to understand consumers and how our background has helped get us to this point. All these support systems got us through this tough task. I was very humbled by this experience. However, I write to you extremely happy having accepted an internship offer for the summer and could not be more excited to help my company move their business forward by understanding their consumers!
No matter what background you have coming to Wisconsin this school will prepare you to succeed in the interview and get the call that you have an amazing internship offer that will absolutely propel your career forward.
(Picture above: A.C. Nielsen Center students learning during our Current Topics Course-Burke's industry trends overview.)