Friday, May 30, 2008

Take me out to the ball game

Yesterday gave yet another reason to write about how awesome working at Intuit has been so far. I'm not really a baseball fan, but for the marketing group that I'm part of they had a baseball day. There were like 45 people, an open bar, all the hot dogs and hamburgers you could eat, and 75-degree weather from a balcony in Petco Park. Just one of the many perks I seem to be enjoying during my internship.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Gourmet meals from obscure ingredients

So, this post really has nothing to do with food. But, it is a pretty accurate description of working in marketing of any form. Take something really abstract and produce something solid. It’s the way the project for my marketing class was, and it is the way the project I’m currently working on has felt to some degree. But, the truth is, that those are the exact kinds of projects you learn from. Taking the abstract and making it concrete is almost the basis for everything in life. Companies often start out as ideas on napkins and grow into empires. I would say that’s taking something from abstract to concrete. Something to think about as you spend time at your internships.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Talk Less, Say More

I know coming from me, a subject line like that must be hilarious for those of you that know me. But, I thought I would share some kind of interesting insights. As MBA students, it’s really is to get wrapped up in everything we know how to do and show of all our analysis skills. Yesterday I had a nice little reminder of what Don Atwater calls “make your report executive friendly.” I worked on 30 slide presentation with all these graphs and charts and thought I was totally awesome. Luckily, I had one of my co-workers take a pass at it and he made me realize that I had basically created a form of kryptonite known to cause a condition called “death by powerpoint.” So, what’s the takeaway from this? Talk less, and say more. That’s’ the reason when you write a b-school essay they make you tell your life story in 600 words.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The power of your energy

Hey guys,

It’s been a few days since I’ve written anything on the blog, but I wanted to write about something that is probably considered a bit out of the ordinary for some of you. This weekend I got to spend some time with a friend of mine who lives quite an extraordinary life. He makes well into the 6 figures, works his own schedule more or less, and travels all over the world, attending the most exclusive parties, and socializing with the social elite. What’s funny is that he’s just an average person, like you or me, but we spent a good deal of time talking about something that should be top of mind for MBA students, but very rarely is. That is your energy.

One of the things that is more than likely to happen next year is that, there will be a ton of talk about recession. Of course, when there is a recession everybody likes to talk about it and all the problems that come with it. As we search for jobs, people will spend all their time talking about the recession and how there are no jobs. In fact, people will do it in groups and those groups will become larger, and everybody wants to be part of the conversation because it is the HOT TOPIC of the moment. And of course, people will all sit around talking about how to overcome this.

Well, here’s the simple answer that doesn’t make logical sense, but really is the simple truth. Don’t’ be part of the conversation. What you don’t realize is you’re magnetizing this very experience into your life because your energy is all about the recession. I can speak first hand from my internship search. I was doing really well and got thrown off quite a bit when I didn’t get the first job I really wanted. For about 2 weeks I put intense amounts of negativity into Pepperdine, Career Services, and more. During that time I could send out the most stellar cover letter or resume and would get no responses.

When I decided to let go, and focus on the positive, a week later I got the job I have today. Then I got another offer the following week which never even bothered with a reference check. That offer was from Yahoo. So, my lesson for today is to keep your energy in check.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Corporate Culture

So, I thought would write this blog post about the corporate culture. I think corporate culture is something really important to consider when you take a job. The truth is I didn’t know much about the corporate culture when I interviewed at Intuit. But, when I saw how organized they were about the interview process and I had 6 interviews in one day, I knew they take their interns seriously. But, I wanted to basically write in my mind what have been the most amazing things about the corporate culture here

1) It’s described as Google without the stock price and free lunch
2) The facilities are beautiful
3) They have a state of the art fitness center
4) They have a weekly happy hour where beer and wine are served
5) They recently added unstructured time for people to work on their own projects
6) It moves at a hundred miles an hour
7) The people are really smart
8) I got an office as an intern

Thursday, May 15, 2008

My results from Discover Your Strenghts

Your Signature Themes

Many years of research conducted by The Gallup Organization suggest that the most effective people are those who understand their strengths and behaviors. These people are best able to develop strategies to meet and exceed the demands of their daily lives, their careers, and their families.

A review of the knowledge and skills you have acquired can provide a basic sense of your abilities, but an awareness and understanding of your natural talents will provide true insight into the core reasons behind your consistent successes.

Your Signature Themes report presents your five most dominant themes of talent, in the rank order revealed by your responses to StrengthsFinder. Of the 34 themes measured, these are your "top five."

Your Signature Themes are very important in maximizing the talents that lead to your successes. By focusing on your Signature Themes, separately and in combination, you can identify your talents, build them into strengths, and enjoy personal and career success through consistent, near-perfect performance.


“When can we start?” This is a recurring question in your life. You are impatient for action. You may concede that analysis has its uses or that debate and discussion can occasionally yield some valuable insights, but deep down you know that only action is real. Only action can make things happen. Only action leads to performance. Once a decision is made, you cannot not act. Others may worry that “there are still some things we don’t know,” but this doesn’t seem to slow you. If the decision has been made to go across town, you know that the fastest way to get there is to go stoplight to stoplight. You are not going to sit around waiting until all the lights have turned green. Besides, in your view, action and thinking are not opposites. In fact, guided by your Activator theme, you believe that action is the best device for learning. You make a decision, you take action, you look at the result, and you learn. This learning informs your next action and your next. How can you grow if you have nothing to react to? Well, you believe you can’t. You must put yourself out there. You must take the next step. It is the only way to keep your thinking fresh and informed. The bottom line is this: You know you will be judged not by what you say, not by what you think, but by what you get done. This does not frighten you. It pleases you.


Excellence, not average, is your measure. Taking something from below average to slightly above average takes a great deal of effort and in your opinion is not very rewarding. Transforming something strong into something superb takes just as much effort but is much more thrilling. Strengths, whether yours or someone else’s, fascinate you. Like a diver after pearls, you search them out, watching for the telltale signs of a strength. A glimpse of untutored excellence, rapid learning, a skill mastered without recourse to steps—all these are clues that a strength may be in play. And having found a strength, you feel compelled to nurture it, refine it, and stretch it toward excellence. You polish the pearl until it shines. This natural sorting of strengths means that others see you as discriminating. You choose to spend time with people who appreciate your particular strengths. Likewise, you are attracted to others who seem to have found and cultivated their own strengths. You tend to avoid those who want to fix you and make you well rounded. You don’t want to spend your life bemoaning what you lack. Rather, you want to capitalize on the gifts with which you are blessed. It’s more fun. It’s more productive. And, counterintuitively, it is more demanding.


You are generous with praise, quick to smile, and always on the lookout for the positive in the situation. Some call you lighthearted. Others just wish that their glass were as full as yours seems to be. But either way, people want to be around you. Their world looks better around you because your enthusiasm is contagious. Lacking your energy and optimism, some find their world drab with repetition or, worse, heavy with pressure. You seem to find a way to lighten their spirit. You inject drama into every project. You celebrate every achievement. You find ways to make everything more exciting and more vital. Some cynics may reject your energy, but you are rarely dragged down. Your Positivity won’t allow it. Somehow you can’t quite escape your conviction that it is good to be alive, that work can be fun, and that no matter what the setbacks, one must never lose one’s sense of humor.


You are fascinated by ideas. What is an idea? An idea is a concept, the best explanation of the most events. You are delighted when you discover beneath the complex surface an elegantly simple concept to explain why things are the way they are. An idea is a connection. Yours is the kind of mind that is always looking for connections, and so you are intrigued when seemingly disparate phenomena can be linked by an obscure connection. An idea is a new perspective on familiar challenges. You revel in taking the world we all know and turning it around so we can view it from a strange but strangely enlightening angle. You love all these ideas because they are profound, because they are novel, because they are clarifying, because they are contrary, because they are bizarre. For all these reasons you derive a jolt of energy whenever a new idea occurs to you. Others may label you creative or original or conceptual or even smart. Perhaps you are all of these. Who can be sure? What you are sure of is that ideas are thrilling. And on most days this is enough.


Woo stands for winning others over. You enjoy the challenge of meeting new people and getting them to like you. Strangers are rarely intimidating to you. On the contrary, strangers can be energizing. You are drawn to them. You want to learn their names, ask them questions, and find some area of common interest so that you can strike up a conversation and build rapport. Some people shy away from starting up conversations because they worry about running out of things to say. You don’t. Not only are you rarely at a loss for words; you actually enjoy initiating with strangers because you derive satisfaction from breaking the ice and making a connection. Once that connection is made, you are quite happy to wrap it up and move on. There are new people to meet, new rooms to work, new crowds to mingle in. In your world there are no strangers, only friends you haven’t met yet—lots of them.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Top 5 things to look for in an MBA internship program

1) A recognized Brand Name
2) A formal MBA Internship Program
3) A project that leverages your career and first-year MBA skills
4) A project that helps you grow personally and professionally
5) Potential for future employment

Monday, May 12, 2008

Choosing the right MBA internship

Choosing the right summer internship is something that’s really important especially at the MBA level. One of the best pieces of advice that I got as an MBA student was to go somewhere where there is a formal internship program and you’ll be among other interns. One of the great advantages to a formal internship program is that they really integrate you into the organization.

As far as my experience with Intuit, I’m amazed at how well they do this. One thing they are really good at is matching up your strengths against the projects and responsibilities you get. Another thing that has been awesome is how well my project is aligned with the skills I gained from a year of business school. I recommend that anybody who comes across this blog a year or so from now or is in the internship search process seek out positions with will utilize the skills you’ve gained as an MBA. That’s it for today.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

A little about my first week as an Intuit MBA intern

Friday, May 9, 2008

Getting the most out of your MBA internship

So I thought I’d write this little blurb on getting the most out of your MBA internship. One mistake I think people make when they start their internship is not looking at the pieces of their project from beginning to end and figuring out what the deliverables are. Sometimes it’s not clearly defined, and it’s up to you to take ownership and define your goals and deliverables concretely. People sometimes seem to think that once you’ve gotten an offer it’s all done. But really what counts is what you do when you get to your company.

One thing that’s really been great about Intuit in the first week is that you are constantly getting feedback and constantly learning. In one week on the job, I’ve learned a ton. I think every internship is an opportunity to be a sponge and learn. They also don’t’ treat you like an “Intern” per se. I feel like I’m fully integrated into the team and working on really cool projects that make a big impact.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

My first few days at my summer MBA internship

Today was the second day of my summer internship after completing the first year of my MBA at Pepperdine about a month ago. I thought keeping a blog about the experience would make it a really memorable experience. So, I’ll start by telling you guys some of the first few things that have happen. Intuit REALLY takes care of their interns and employees. I have been put up in corporate housing for the summer. It is fully furnished and rent-free for the whole summer. I also am working some really cool projects that are really going to leverage my MBA skills. To give you an idea of my first few days on the job, first I went through all the standard first day stuff. Then I was given my personal crackberry (aka blackberry), which is cool considering I’m an intern. The funny thing is I heard the same sentiment about how much they take care of you echoed by a full time employee here, so I guess there’s a reason it is consistently ranked one of the 100 Best companies to work for. I happened to start right when one of the big annual celebrations is going, so this was part of the second day. My advice to people who are starting their first years is be proactive, end up at a good company, and do your homework about that company. I can already tell this is going to be an amazing learning experience.