Summer is absolutely flying by! Bit scary to think that it’s been almost 6 weeks since my internship started; pretty soon I’ll be back on campus for FOP! Having now spent a good chunk of my summer working, I thought I’d check in and give an update on everything that’s been going on… Enjoy!
As I mentioned, I’m now in the throes of a nine-week summer internship at Monitor Group, a strategy consulting firm based out of Cambridge that does work in a huge range of content areas and industries and has offices around the globe. I was lucky enough this spring to get an offer with them through the On Campus Interview program run by Office of Career Services, and I signed on for their training program towards the end of the semester. As a premed Social Studies concentrator, I came into the summer with effectively zero business background and only a faint idea of what “consulting” really meant. Fortunately, the internship was designed with people like me in mind, and Monitor’s done a fantastic job of introducing me to the foreign world of strategy consulting.
In total, there are twelve interns in my program, hailing from seven colleges and representing a huge range of academic backgrounds. One of the best things about the summer has been the opportunity to get to know my fellow interns – Monitor is unique in having all of its interns located in a single office, and it’s been really fantastic to have a group of peers to spend my time with. We started the program with a weeklong orientation to Monitor, its policies, and the expectations for the summer. We learned the ins and outs of Excel and PowerPoint, heard from some of the partners at the firm, and got a chance to ask questions of the younger consultants (examples include what to wear on “casual Fridays” and how to effectively ask for feedback from managers). Mixed into that week were a few social events, including dinners with other employees at the firm and outings with the interns, which provided ample opportunity for the twelve of us to get to know our coworkers (and each other!).
After orientation, I received my “allocation” for the summer: I was assigned a case team and a manager and sent a bunch of “ramp up” materials to get up to speed with the material and the team’s progress. I’ve found the case to be really interesting so far, as I’m working on a pharmaceutical case that combines social and private sector with government and non-profit work. Having spent a lot of time at Harvard thinking about social issues, it’s really cool to attack similar issues from a totally different angle. There are certainly moments where I feel a bit out of place and find myself asking lots of questions, but I’ve been surprised by the degree to which the skills I’ve picked up at school (communication, critical thinking, secondary research capabilities) have been directly applicable in an office setting. Way to go, liberal arts education!
Monitor’s been doing a great job of planning a fun summer for us, as well – we’ve gone to dinner in Boston, tried out our artistic abilities at “Paint Bar,” and traveled to Maine for a weekend white water rafting trip. Check out some photos below!
And though it may not sound like it from what I’ve written above, this summer has also provided opportunity for non-internship-related fun in Cambridge. I’ve found that a ton of my friends are on campus, many conducting thesis research, and it’s been nice to have some time to catch up with them in a slightly different environment. I’m living in Central Square, which is a fun change of pace, and I definitely feel like I’ve learned a lot more about Cambridge from my adventures this summer. I’ve been walking to work as much as possible (it’s about 2 miles from my apartment), and I must confess that there are a lot of pockets of Cambridge that I’ve yet to explore. No better way to really get a feel for an area than by walking!
Shockingly, summer is beginning to wrap up, which is both terrifying and exciting. I’m definitely looking forward to hearing about my PAF placement for this fall and getting back on campus for FOP trips and Freshman Week (shout out to 2016!). Not so excited to think about post-grad life, the job search, and the fact that my last year at Harvard is quickly approaching!
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