It’s Monday which means we have another internship success story to share with you from one of our MBA Students. This week we are showcasing student Paul Robichaux who interned last summer at the start up Visible Health. Below is what he has to say about his experience.
1. What were your core responsibilities for the internship?
My responsibilities included developing new product messaging, creating marketing communications for customers and for press releases, surveying and interviewing customers to gain usage behavior and feedback on future features, as well as assisting with the development of product concepts.
2. Where there courses you took through the U-M or programs offered through Zell Lurie that helped you develop skills applied during your internship?
BA 528 – Tools for Discovery was immensely helpful. It is a class meant to immediately equip you with the tools to gather information from people (surveys, interviews, focus groups, twitter data, etc.). Going through the Dare To Dream Venture Shaping Grant application at ZLI helped teach me how to distill the business problem we were trying to solve with customer interviews and prepared me to be comfortable with ambiguity.
3. What were the biggest contributions you made to the company during your time there?
I helped develop their first marketing campaigns and put some infrastructure around that so they could replicate it once I left. The product launch communication I drafted resulted in an online article spotlighting our product which will be published soon.
4. What experiences/skills developed from your internship will you apply at school/in your career?
At a startup you have to be a self-starter. No one is going to tell you, “I need these 5 things done”. You have to come up with the five things yourself and get them done by balancing the limited resources available. This last year of the MBA program, I’m trying to take on a more active role in my teams and work collaboratively in groups.
5. Would you recommend these types of internships as a good avenue for students to pursue to augment their business education vs. those within a corporate or traditional banking firm?
A startup internship is incredible. You get to do everything; you’re forced out of your comfort zone immediately. My first week on the job, the CEO was drawing marketing concepts on the board to explain their strategy–I had to go back to my class notes, thinking earlier that no one uses this in the real world!
6. What is your advice of how to get the most out of the internship?
If it’s a startup internship, go in with a plan and be prepared to throw it out the window on the first day. More importantly, make sure you like the people or company you’re going to work with. That makes all the difference.