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Internship Insight

Photo: Scott Dai
Scott Dai
Class of 2011
Concentrations: Supply Chain Management, Corporate Accounting

When I started business school, I considered it to be the start of a new chapter in my life. It was an opportunity to alter my career path and my life direction. It was not until this summer that I understood how significant of an impact that the MBA has already made in my life.

My path to enlightenment started at ViaSat, Inc in Carlsbad, California. ViaSat is a satellite communications company that competes in both the commercial and defense arena. The company prides itself on innovation and a unique cooperative culture that permeates all levels of its operations. I was eager and excited to begin at ViaSat after a rigorous year swimming within the currents of academia. However, there was an underlying fear termpering that excitement: would my second internship experience parallel my first undergrad experience(completing menial tasks in a cold, silent office).

That was not the case. I learned very quickly that the expectations for an MBA student are far greater. Literally, on the first day, I was assigned 5 very significant projects that directly impacted not only the operations and future performance of ViaSat’s Supply Chain group, but the company as a whole. In many ways, it was a relief to do substantive work again. However, without the guidance and help from my professors during the school year and their unwavering support during my actual internship, I would not have been as successful. From Professor Bain and her critical advice on executive presentations to Professor Ragatz and Swink and their contributions to my projects, I discovered that my academic learning did not stop at the doors of ViaSat. It is safe to say that the quantity of case studies and text book chapters that I read and reread this summer rivaled that of my first two semesters of business school.

If anything, my summer internship experience taught me how invaluable these precious few days left of business school will be in my life as an MBA student (and certainly beyond). Nowhere else will I have access to such rich and meaningful resources. It is with this realization that I am determined to make my last two semesters as a Broad MBA student the most successful of my academic career.

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