Building brands and creating great customer experiences has always been my professional passion. One of the reasons I came to Fuqua was to transition from my previous role at a company where brand management was more of a support function to a company where the brand was the heart and soul of the firm.
This past summer I had the opportunity to work in brand marketing through an internship at Coca-Cola—one of the world’s most loved brands. Here are some ways Fuqua helped prepare me for a fantastic internship experience.
Getting the Offer
- Relationships: One of the reasons I chose to attend Fuqua was the program’s success in placing students at top marketing companies. The Coca-Cola Company actively recruits at Fuqua, including visiting campus to meet with interested students. Having the company actually come to my school helped remove a big barrier in the recruiting process.
- Mentor support: I was paired with a second-year MBA student with a similar background who had already successfully navigated the internship recruiting process. Having a mentor to help guide me through the process, prep for interviews, and make internship decisions not only made me a stronger candidate but also helped me find the right fit.
- Peer support: A combination of the Team Fuqua spirit and Fuqua’s student-led culture provided unique opportunities for me to successfully manage internship recruiting. For example, a weekly marketing interview prep series led by second-year students demystified the recruiting process. Additionally, group mock interviews led by the Career Management Center helped me learn from others and polish my interviewing skills.
On the job
- Team Fuqua: Our school is consistently recognized for graduates that are particularly strong at working effectively with others. Formal mechanisms such as intentionally designed Consequential Leadership (C-Lead) teams, to informal mechanisms such as student-led clubs and activities provide an education in collaboration and leading teams towards a common goal—the crux of the Team Fuqua spirit. Collaborating with diverse groups of people and building relationships is a critical skill at a relationship-driven company such as Coca-Cola, so our education is very applicable.
- Network: Both Duke and Fuqua have a strong alumni presence at the Coca-Cola Company. Since 10 weeks is not a lot of time to navigate a large organization, it was great to have a built-in support network to make the company seem smaller.
- Coursework: Fuqua does a great job offering coursework to prepare students for the technical and soft skills required to be successful. From a technical standpoint, courses such as Marketing Intelligence, Information Management, and Foundations of Strategy provided tools to help me synthesize large amounts of data in a strategic way—a critical skill for a marketer. Additionally, Fuqua is one of the only schools to build 2 communication courses into the core curriculum, which prepared me for the presentations I gave during the summer
As students at Duke, we often discuss how we can make our MBA experience not simply transactional, but transformational. I hope you can see from my experience through an internship at Coca-Cola, that my journey to find the right career path is not simply about securing an internship. It’s about the 360-degree experience of building relationships, helping others, expanding one’s comfort zone and having a great time along the way!
I'm born and raised on the East Coast and have a background in marketing that will remain my focus after graduation. Being involved with the visual arts, eating at my favorite restaurants and going for runs on the campus trail near Fuqua are a few of the things I enjoy outside of the classroom.