Internship Spotlight: Daniel Novotny – BHP Senior

Daniel Novotny, BHP senior, spent his summer at Ford Motor Company as a Marketing, Sales and Service Intern where he worked on the construction of a computer update to replace current paper forms and analyzed the Hispanic Market in California. During his internship, Daniel learned a lot about the automotive industry as well as entering the workforce in general.

What steps did you take to secure your internship?

I used OCR where I found an internship opportunity posted by Ford Motor Company. Since I was abroad, I was unable to apply through OCR and emailed my resume directly to the recruiter asking what I would need to do in the current situation. Within a week, he set up a Skype interview that included behavioral and industry questions lasting approximately 45 minutes. I was then offered the internship within a month of the interview.

What were the responsibilities for this role?

I was the Marketing, Sales and Service intern for the West Market Area housed in Irvine, CA and was tasked two main projects. The first project was the construction of a computer-based update that will eventually replace the current paper forms being used. With this information being located on an Excel spreadsheet we were able to analyze key aspects of a dealership facility in comparison to a forecasted guide to figure out if any correlations with customer satisfaction can be obtained.

The second and most interesting project was the analysis of the Hispanic market within California. With this task, I had free rein to analyze sales data collected in the last ten years within the automotive industry in order to figure out trends in the market and understand what opportunities can be found to help increase Ford’s market share within the population.

Describe the culture within the organization.

There was an amazing sense of teamwork. Everyone that was in my office is the expert in a certain area of the industry and I was always able to find someone willing to help. In turn, I was able to understand each piece of the automotive industry including how sales, service, Ford Credit, and marketing combine to create a successful organization. My coworkers respected each other’s expertise and create a fun and enjoyable atmosphere, while producing top-notch results. The “work-hard, play-hard” attitude was apparent and I was glad to go to work knowing I would have good laughs throughout the day.

What was the most surprising or unexpected during your experience?

Going into the automotive industry and Ford specifically, I did not know the complexities that come with selling a car. The studies that go on within this industry surprise me and I was excited by the amount of data collected to study the market for decision-making. From financing, to the color of a car, it was amazing to see how many little things becomes part of the package. When someone purchases a vehicle, a warranty is given, with a specific financing package, and service plan. Each of these aspects has intense studies so the right combination is produced to provide the best overall car package. The policies and industry norms at each of these steps creates even more complexities that I never understood until I began my internship.

What advice would you offer your peers in the Honors Program about getting the most out of an internship?

Ask questions! Although you will be assigned a supervisor and working in a certain department, it is important to understand how your piece is a part of the overall puzzle. I believe the most important things I learned this summer did not come from the task I was assigned, but from the 30-minute one-on-one sessions I had with individuals in my office. I was able to pick their brain and they, in turn, asked me questions that reinforced what I wanted to gain from the internship. By establishing relationships early on, I was able to create a welcoming environment and gained a lot of wisdom from those who have been in the business their whole career.

How did you find your classes in the Business Honors Program to be applicable during your internship?

The Business Honors classes I have taken were definitely applicable during my internship. I am glad that I paid attention during my statistics classes and Dr. Konana’s Intro to Information Technology class because the amount of Excel I used during this internship was amazing. I feel like 50 percent of my time was spent in Excel creating reports with Pivot Tables and VLookups for my bosses. I’m glad I enjoyed working with spreadsheets and data as much as I do. The Business Honors Program has done an amazing job overall in preparing me to overcome challenges independently and think creatively when given tasks. I felt well prepared when I began my internship and believe I impressed my colleagues during my experience.

How Ford Motor Company ensure you got the most out of your internship experience?

The Ford Motor Company did a good job of asking me what I wanted to gain from my experience working with them. They understood that I was interviewing them just as much as they were interviewing me over the course of the 10-weeks and allowed me to share my short-term and long-term goals. They then found someone in the office that might be able to share their experiences and give me tips on how to help achieve these goals. For example, I am interested in working abroad and was given the opportunity to speak with the West Market Area General Manager who has worked in Brazil and Thailand over the course of his time at Ford.

What are the most valuable lessons you gained from this internship?

This internship taught me to have fun with what I do, whom I interact with and the environment I create for myself. I have realized the importance of asking questions and understand you can accomplish more when you get involved in a team that has clearly defined tasks. The collaboration I saw throughout my organization opened my eyes to the potential a group of people hold when tackling a task.



Internship Spotlight: Courtney Brindle – BHP Senior

Courtney Brindle spent her summer interning with PepsiCo in the Frito-Lay Supply Chain division. She ended up having an opportunity to learn more about the tie between corporate strategy and social responsibility through her involvement with Food for Good. Find out more about Courtney’s experience at PepsiCo and what she learned during her internship.

Company: PepsiCo

Title: Supply Chain Intern



What steps did you take to secure your internship?

I spoke with people I knew who worked there to get a feel for the company and the process. I then met recruiters at the Career Expo and talked with them for a while. I left my resume with them after the conversation, they called me in for an interview, and the rest is history.

What were the responsibilities for this role?

Although Frito-Lay Supply Chain hired me, I worked mostly with a social business group that is part of PepsiCo called Food for Good. As part of this team, I had many responsibilities including routing trucks, keeping track of data, building models, designing processes and researching, and recommending directions for the group. I did work a few weeks in FLNA Supply Chain, and there I did mostly data analysis to find streamlining opportunities to increase efficiency.

Describe the culture within the organization.

The people at PepsiCo are truly one of its best assets. Everyone is not only very competent, but also friendly and helpful. Family is very important at PepsiCo, as is work-life balance. But at the end of the day, everyone knows that if something needs to be done at work, your team will stay until it is finished. That’s how they stay at the top!

What was most surprising or unexpected during your experience?

I was surprised at the ease with which I could interact with senior leadership. They were open to one-on-ones and I heard from many of them throughout the summer.

What advice would you offer your peers in the Honors Program about getting the most out of an internship?

If you ever feel “bored,” find something you can do of value. Ask your manager or your team for a project – the more you take on, the more you learn. Also take the time to talk to the other interns and people in the company.

How did you find your classes in the Business Honors Program to be applicable during your internship?

The BHP has been useful because the students and professors in each class have challenged me. The students in BHP make you think both quickly and outside the box, and the discussion in classes has made public speaking become second nature. I didn’t know just how much BHP pushed me until this summer. I was able to handle important work, take on a large amount of responsibility, gain trust, and give presentations to executives with confidence.

How did PepsiCo ensure you got the most out of your internship experience?

I was lucky in that I was able to see different aspects of a business. I was able to see a small, start-up kind of business with Food for Good, and everything that went along with that. I was also able to sit in on meetings, work with real data and drive real results for the larger organization of Frito-Lay.

What are the most valuable lessons you gained from this internship?

I have learned that two of the main keys to happiness in a career are the value you feel you add to the organization and the people with which you work.




BHP Buenos Aires Short-Term International Program – Enroll Today!

The Short-Term Study Abroad BHP Management Program in Buenos Aires, Argentina, is not only the first-ever South American Program, but is also exclusively designed and reserved for BHP students. During the five-week summer program, students take two courses and earn six BHP credits while studying at one of the top business schools in Argentina, the Universidad de San Andres. Students take two courses – Organizational Behavior (MAN336H) and Non-Market Strategies in Emerging Markets (IB372). An English-speaking professor at the host university teaches the second course.

Professor Ethan Burris

“My class was a little different taught in Buenos Aires for a few reasons,” said Management Professor Ethan Burris, who taught the MAN336H class “Because the course is condensed to five weeks, I teach for four-hour blocks of time, which allows for deeper discussion. I didn’t feel like I had to cut a conversation short. Also students are also able to take what they learn and apply it to the non-free market of Buenos Aires first hand. Buenos Aires is a big city. It’s like a less glamorous New York City or Chicago.”

Classes are held in the morning, freeing afternoons and evenings for weekly, organized excursions to experience the vibrant culture of Buenos Aires. There is one three-day weekend incorporated into the schedule, which many students used for additional travel. A particularly popular destination for the weekend was Iguazu Falls, one of the seven natural wonders of the world. Throughout the session, the group will tour at least two large companies. Summer 2013 tours included: Danone (food production); Tenaris (oil and gas); and Cartocor (packaging).

Iguazu Falls, one of the seven wonders of the world

The 2013 group. Submitted by Dana Hwu

As a current BHP student, there are no prerequisites to participate in the program. There are 25 spots available each summer. Students do not need to speak or understand Spanish to join the program. Both courses are taught in English and the group is accompanied by a cultural liaison. The liaison is generally a graduate student that has traveled to the area before, knows it well, and speaks the language. Registration is first-come, first-served and opens today. Attend the Short-Term International Programs Information Session Wednesday, October 2, at 3 p.m., in CBA 3.304. Read more about the experience from the students who went on the trip below.

Dana Hwu

“I had an absolutely amazing time in Argentina! I am so incredibly happy and thankful I went because I don’t think I would have ever gone to South America without this opportunity pulling me there. The culture was so different, and it was unlike any other experience.” – Dana Hwu

Photo of Buenos Aires submitted by Rachel Solomon

“I can’t even begin to pick one favorite aspect! Everything from the coffee, to the architecture to the weather to the classes to the people I spent my time with to the excursions and beyond made me fall in love with the trip. I never wanted to leave.” – Rachel Solomon

“One weekend, we tagged along with a travel agency to a northwestern city called Mendoza, which is at the foothills of the Andes Mountains. We took a horseback tour along the mountains guided by a gaucho (Argentine cowboy) and had asado afterwards, which is basically a huge meal of fresh vegetables and barbequed meat. The food was delicious and the view was absolutely breathtaking.” – Amy Yu

George Chidiac

“McCombs prides itself on diversity. Studying with local students was a concrete example of McCombs walking the talk. Not only were I and 24 other BHP students able to study with Argentinians, but we also had French foreign exchange students with us in our International Business course. A melting pot of students from three different countries, we were all able to contribute in ways I never imagined. Weird as it may seem, articles we read came to life when Argentinian and French students were able to validate claims and expand on others, such as when we discussed the black market.” – George Chidiac

Student Profile: Ryan Lieberman – Co-Founder of Camp SPARK

Ryan Lieberman, a freshman in the program, started Camp SPARK, with his brother Blake, in the Summer of 2010. As a freshman in high school, Ryan knew he wanted to gain experience in operating a business. He decided to merge his passions for community service and athletics to create Camp SPARK. The camp has come a long way from the first session held in Ryan’s backyard. It is now available nationwide. Learn more about Camp SPARK and Ryan’s plans for the future as a BHP student.

What is Camp SPARK?

SPARK stands for Strong Powerful Athletic Rocking Kids. The camp is as much about sportsmanship as it is sports and it helps kids learn social skills in a way that they can easily connect with and understand, through sports and activities. At Camp SPARK, campers play games altered to the camp such as “Extreme Duck, Duck Goose.” Children ages 5–13 can participate in Camp SPARK. It’s a camp run by kids, for kids, because the set-up is unique in that it’s a business opportunity for high school students to start camps for younger kids.

How were you inspired to start the camp?

I’m very much an entrepreneurial-type of person. I love the idea of being my own boss and working for myself. So, the summer after my freshman year of high school I started thinking of ways that I could start my own business to gain experience being my own boss and familiarize myself with the processes involved in building a business.

I’ve always been passionate about community service and have been very active in Big Brothers Big Sisters. The bond I built with my “little” is a big part of what inspired me to reach out to children. I love the idea of directly influencing someone’s life and seeing change happen – knowing you were part of it. As for the idea of a camp, I went to summer camp all my life and just loved it. I knew opening a camp would be fun, something I could do well, and it would lead to a good experience.

The support of my parents was also influential. My dad is my biggest role model and he really encouraged me to do what I love and run the show.

How did you get the camp up and running?

The first summer, my parents were very supportive of what I was trying to accomplish and agreed to sponsor the start-up of Camp SPARK. The camp was run out of my backyard the first year. To get campers, my brother and I called and emailed over a hundred parents from our school directory and got 12 campers to enroll for the week. I didn’t make a lot of money the first summer, however I learned a lot of lessons.

The next summer I was a lot more organized and a much better marketer. I set up a Facebook page and sent out a video link to my email list. I also received a lot of good word of mouth promotion.  Participation almost tripled to 35 kids a day. I ran the camp twice as long and profited nearly $13,000. The next year, we created a website and increased marketing. A larger facility became a necessity. I negotiated a deal with my school and relocated the camp. It worked out really well. That’s about the time I realized that I had a reproducible business and that if I could do this, other people could too. I began looking for city partners to initiate Camp SPARK in their area. Not just in Texas, but nationwide. We opened a girls’ camp that summer and our first camp outside of Dallas with my cousin Zach in Austin and they both went really well.

The following year we put an ad on Facebook and everything really took off from there. Over the last four summers we have grown from a backyard camp into a nine-location business in five cities across the country (Dallas, Austin, San Francisco, Boston and Denver). Hundreds of kids are now Camp SPARK campers.  We have four boys’ camps, five girls’ camps, six city partners and employ over 60 people.  We have an accountant, a lawyer and an insurance agent. We have learned how to create really good systems and how to protect our business and ourselves.

Each camp is tailored to the location. For example, in San Francisco, the surrounding neighborhood has a lot of under-privileged kids, so that camp is corporate sponsored and doesn’t charge campers and places a special emphasis on reinforcing the importance of education. It’s important to know the community and the needs of that community so a difference can be made.

What does the future hold for Camp SPARK?

I hope Camp SPARK continues to be as successful as it has been. Now that I’ve started college, I still want to grow Camp SPARK and keep it as a source of income, but I’m looking for someone to take over my role of overseeing all of the operations. Starting and running the camp has been an amazing experience and now I’m ready to see what my next endeavor will be.

What does the future hold for you?

Running a sports camp has been a lot of fun and a great experience.  I plan to start more businesses and hopefully continue with sports-related work, but not necessarily in the camp setting. I know I ultimately want to be my own boss, so any experience I can continue to gain in operating businesses would definitely be of interest to me. My plan is to use what I am learning to pursue my next business ideas and also to help other kids start their own businesses.  One of the things I am excited about within the Business Honors program is the people in it.  I am going to have great classmates to learn and work with, and hopefully one day start businesses together with.

BHP Freshmen Kick Off the School Year

Written by Ashley Alcantara

This past weekend the Business Honors Program freshman class attended the Leadership Kickoff at the John Newcombe Ranch. During their stay, students were given everything they need to make the most of their first year in the BHP. The beginning of college, albeit cheesy, is also the beginning of the rest of your life. Every college freshman is faced with massive changes that can often be overwhelming, but at Leadership Kickoff students learned about how to approach challenges and be successful.

College is full of risk-taking and facing unfamiliar situations, which can be the most rewarding experiences if we allow ourselves to try them. A ropes course at Newcombe Ranch allowed BHP freshmen to learn how true this can be when they were given the opportunity to jump from a towering height while attached to a rope. While completely safe, “The Scream” was one of the scariest things I have ever convinced myself to do. However, the reward of flying through the air as I swung on the rope was invigorating. Leadership Kickoff demonstrated the benefits of taking a leap into the unknown, such as trying a new extracurricular activity or taking a challenging class.

BHP is most importantly about community and teamwork, as classmates can always depend on each other. Teamwork and trust were put to the ultimate test on a ropes course station where two students were elevated high off the ground with only each other as support. Complete trust was needed to walk across the rope without falling off. Likewise, action packed games and activities during the weekend required clear communication and cooperation for any team to be victorious. The freshman class learned that we can always depend on each other, whether its 50 feet in the air while balancing on a rope or within a professional setting twenty years from now.

Students were also given a chance to speak with alumni, meet PepsiCo representatives, swim in the pool, do the wobble at a dance party, eat delicious food, act out hilarious skits and attend the formal convocation ceremony for BHP. Most importantly though, during two extremely fun and unforgettable days, the class of 2017 learned that by overcoming fears and working together we will be extraordinary.