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CMC 'Success Workshops' offer practical advice for interns

From the basics of business communication to the particulars of PowerPoint, a good prospective student intern knows to be prepared for anything. But exactly what constitutes "anything?" What catches new interns off guard? More importantly, what can the Kellogg School do to help prepare them to excel and meet such challenges?

During the summer of 2005, Professor Robert Korajczyk, then senior associate dean, and Assistant Deans Michele Rogers and Roxanne Hori ventured across departmental (and state) lines in search of answers to these questions. First, they identified a number of students with summer internships in a variety of industries around the United States. Then, after giving the students a six-week head start, the three deans — respectively representing the Office of the Dean, the Department of Student Affairs and the Career Management Center — traveled to Seattle, San Francisco, Chicago, New York and Minneapolis, where they discussed the students' challenges and successes over lunch.

Hori says the CMC's decision to speak with students halfway through their internships rather than at the very end was a strategic one. After six weeks with a firm, students have had a chance to become comfortable in their positions, but they are still new enough to "know what they didn't know" as beginners and to give helpful advice to students just starting out. And since the possibility of a full-time job offer is still a bit abstract, Hori adds, students are more likely to speak candidly.

Using the knowledge gleaned from these roundtables, the CMC developed "Success Workshops for Summer Interns," a series that offered specific, practical advice for this year's interning class on how to manage everything from large data sets to elusive managers. Rogers said the students also expressed interest in learning to use research resources such as the Bloomberg database and the Northwestern University library more effectively, prompting the workshop "Resources Only a Student Could Love." — AH

©2002 Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University