Aaron Scheinfeld, MBA 2019, did not launch a formal search for his summer internship. Yet he found an opportunity he is excited about, largely by pursuing the interests that come naturally to him.

After two years with Morgan Stanley’s investment banking division and another two years in private equity with Berkshire Partners, Aaron came to HBS “to gain an understanding of how businesses function from a perspective beyond the financial analysis and business due diligence lens.” But during his time at Morgan Stanley and Berkshire, Aaron acquired another appetite: health and wellness. “It’s a fast-paced industry,” he says. “I find it interesting not only for personal reasons, but also for its business opportunities.”

As fall turned into winter, Aaron anticipated a post-graduation future in investing or PE, focusing on “strategy, organization building, and product development.” For the summer, however, “I wanted to gain a different experience outside the finance bubble.”

Aaron drew up a list of goals. “I wanted to try something different, get another perspective,” he says. The internship also had to be personally and professionally useful, a step forward in his career development. “But I didn’t want a large, established organization – I already had that experience at Morgan Stanley,” Aaron explains. He wanted to experience something more dynamic with a fast-growth and an entrepreneurial culture where he could work across multiple functions including strategy, operations and marketing.

And he wanted to test his interest in health and wellness. “Is this just a personal interest, or is there a real professional opportunity here?” Aaron asked himself.

With an eye toward experiencing a new location outside the northeast, Aaron began exploring the wellness space by networking, talking to friends, family, and HBS colleagues to expand his web of relationships within his target market.

“I was really just getting a sense of the landscape,” he says. “Most of these companies are small; I didn’t expect them to hire until the spring.”

A sudden and unexpected opportunity

In one of Aaron’s networking conversations with a New York-area PE firm specializing in health and wellness, one of the firm’s portfolio companies, Barry’s Boot Camp, came up. Aaron had long been an enthusiast of the company, participating in its fitness classes several times a week. He asked if Barry’s were pursuing any interesting marketing or strategy-related projects, and if they were looking for an MBA intern for the summer. “I wasn’t really expecting anything,” Aaron says, “but I found that they were mulling over the idea of hiring an intern.” In fact, Barry’s head of marketing was in the city the same day, and Aaron was able to meet with her that afternoon.

Over the next four weeks, Aaron’s initial conversation evolved into a series of email exchanges and meetings with Barry’s executives, including its CEO. Aaron had planned on beginning his formal internship search in February, but by the end of January, he had secured an offer from Barry’s to serve as a business analysis consultant.

“It’s a cross-functional role working with the head of customer insights,” says Aaron. “I’ll be working on strategy, analyzing ways to optimize operations, new studio performance, and marketing effectiveness – I will essentially be a general athlete supporting the management team and a number of other functional areas.”

Aaron’s internship began on June 11 in Los Angeles. He’s confident it will be a productive one. “I am hopeful that it will give me a new perspective on business that will be useful to me wherever I decide to go in my career.”