It has been about a week since I finished my summer internship, and I can’t believe how quickly the time flew by. I started the internship intent on learning as much as I could about an industry that has inspired me since my childhood. At the same time, I wanted to contribute as much as possible to an organization undergoing significant change. Reflecting on the experience now, I feel like I was able to achieve both goals. In addition, I also learned a lot about people – how much they matter and how you (one person… even an intern!) can add to an organization’s (already positively strong) culture.
As a first-year at Harvard Business School, you take several classes that suggest that the most successful companies have strong, indelible cultures that embody its employees’ beliefs and values. While the cases and discussions resonate with you at the moment you learn them, it’s not until you are back in the field actually dealing with ‘real-life’ situations that you can truly appreciate the cause and effect relationship between culture and sustained organizational success. This summer, I got to work with passionate, energetic, smart and incredibly humble people. Their efforts helped to launch several new cable networks, sell and acquire companies and set the stage for continued growth and success in an uncertain business environment. Though I was new to the company and only there temporarily, I tried my best to tangibly contribute in ways that I could - from the basics (copying papers) to the more advanced (modeling proposals, presenting them and providing different perspectives when appropriate). Some days (and nights) were long but there was no wiping the smiles off of our faces! We liked our roles and enjoyed collaborating with each other. I have little doubt that this friendly atmosphere nudged us in moments of fatigue and doubt. When I was uncertain about an assignment, an experienced employee would provide words of encouragement and direction. In turn, I proactively tried to help in any way that reinforced the already focused and determined work environment that I was in.
While I don’t know for sure what the full-time job search will bring, I know that I will seek to be in an organization with a culture as fantastic as the one I experienced (and contributed to) this summer.
As I enter my second year at HBS, I am looking forward to so many things:
- Reuniting with my classmates and catching up on our amazing summer experiences.
- Getting the chance to pick and ultimately take my own classes for the first time… My tentative schedule looks so exciting!
- Enjoying even more of what Boston and Cambridge have to offer in food, culture, entertainment, sports and any other kind of fun.
I know one thing is for sure… I am not looking forward to saying goodbye a year from now!
- Nick Singh, MBA 2014