When I left Austin, it was 94 degrees and sunny. My first weekend after arriving in Minneapolis, it was 49 degrees and raining. I knew the weather would be an adjustment, but I had no idea the change would be so dramatic so early on. But first, let me back up a little.
I participated in on-campus recruiting early in the spring semester at McCombs, and was active in the interview process for a bunch of the companies that came down to interview for marketing positions. After several weeks of prepping, dinners, and first and second rounds of interviews, I was thrilled to get an internship offer from General Mills in their Consumer Insights function. This function, which falls under the Marketing umbrella (and includes market research, and studying and advocating for product development and innovation around the consumer), is a pretty unique opportunity among the sea of brand management positions that are recruited for at school. Having been an anthropology and psychology double major during my undergraduate years at Wash U, I was excited to finally have a true application for my liberal arts skills that could be freshly combined with my new business background. It seemed like the perfect fit. My offer letter came in the form of a Wheaties box, and I immediately got the catchy “go tell your mama what the big boys eat” jingle stuck in my head. I instantly knew I’d be heading up to Minneapolis for the summer.
I was lucky enough to have one of my best friends fly out from her home in Philadelphia to Austin to drive the 18 hours with me up to Minneapolis. After her whirlwind 24 hour trip to Austin that included a trip to Hula Hut, a bats sighting and taking in some tunes at the Mean Eyed Cat, we were off on our road trip adventure. After 18 hours of corn fields, casinos, and…cornfields, we arrived at our destination. General Mills assisted the interns with our housing, so all 30+ MBA GMI interns are living in the same place. Other MBA interns from 3M are also living in our building, and the Medtronic and Target interns are close by. We really have an intern family here, which is extremely nice. The interns at General Mills represent so many different schools – Harvard, Wharton, Indiana, Carnegie Mellon, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Wash U, Kellogg, Clark Atlanta, Emory and Michigan, to name a few. I am SO proud to be here representing McCombs.
General Mills has been amazing so far – it’s really an incredible company with so many great brands and products, and I am admittedly thrilled by the free samples that come my way daily. Each day I walk past the Betty Crocker test kitchen on my way up to my floor, and pinch myself about where I have gotten after my first year in business school. It’s really a fantastic feeling. It’s absolutely insane that I’m in my sixth week – halfway through. No idea where the time has gone! I have a really challenging project that I’m VERY excited about, and it will take me to several places in the US to do some firsthand consumer research, which I am eager to get started on. I feel so supported by everyone at General Mills, and there is a small family of McCombs alums (including my manager!) who have made me feel so welcome since the second I got here. It’s nice to have a McCombs family, even when I’m so far from Austin.
Since my first 49 degree weekend, the weather has improved dramatically. I have to say, the 78 degrees and sunny weather from yesterday is a nice break from the 100+ degrees of Austin summers. A stroll around Lake Calhoun topped off with dinner with my new intern friends made this weekend one I’ll look back on and smile about for years to come. So far, my internship has been great, and although I VERY much miss Austin and my good friends from McCombs (and look forward to being back with them in 6 weeks), I know I made a terrific decision in coming to Minneapolis. Looking forward to sharing more about my experience as my summer continues!