Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on the Interns Expose Amway blog.
The beginning of the summer has represented an opportunity to pursue my dreams and it is the clearest example that I have succeeded in completing one of the goals that I set for myself when I arrived in Business School.
Two years ago when I applied to Kellogg School of Management, I described in my essays (and in my Business Week blog) how I wanted to become a brand manager at a cosmetics company to create holistic well-being in direct sales to use my talents in favor of improving the world.
The way I arrived at Amway was somehow unusual. As part of my plan B recruiting I continued to look at beauty companies, but searched for operations jobs to at least secure a change in geography and industry. A change of industry, function and geography seemed like a very complex challenge, because most companies would not trust a Chemical Engineer with 5 years of work experience in operations to become a world class marketer.
After a wonderful experience in Ada and an interview that seemed like a friendly talk with the Vice President, Director and Manager of Supply Chain, I received an offer from the center of excellence that I was uncertain to take. I had really liked the company, but I was uncertain of how taking that path brought me closer to my long term career goal: to become a General Manager who can eventually have more impact in the world.
Not willing to give up, I decided to seek advice from MBA’s who were in my dream job in the industry to see if an eventual transition would be possible or if I should stick to my plan to career change during the summer, even if it was in a startup company or scarifying the geography. That determination caused for me to cold call my current manager, an MBA from Duke University to ask her for advice. That advice request converted into an internship opportunity of what I, now call: my dream job.
Two weeks ago, I moved from Chicago to Grand Rapids, Michigan where Amway’s head quarters are located to become a brand manager MBA intern in the color cosmetics business.
My summer project involves working in a very interesting challenge that requires implementing strategic and tactical measures. Using creative, leadership, strategic thinking and analytical skills mixed with marketing, finance, accounting, design, and operations knowledge to solve it. This seems like the perfect opportunity to put to work every course I have taken in both of the programs that I am pursuing, my MBA and MEM.
To gain a rounded experience, it is as important as the internship challenge and project relevance to me, having fun during the summer and getting to know better the company’s culture and employees. For that, HR has made an excellent effort to bring together my fellow intern class. We have been involved in activities ranging from Intern Olympics and baseball games, to lunch and learns where we get to experience a department and other interns projects.
Additionally, HR did a great job in putting together an intern class which is quite diverse, we range between 19 and 28 years old, we hold different school majors from public communications to mechanical engineering, and are pursuing different disciplines in our internships and current graduate studies to solve different projects that contribute to the company transformation. We come from several parts of the world- did I mention that I was born and raised in Mexico? But I have lived in 7 countries in the past 10 years- one of the most amazing things at Amway is that despite of this diversity, all of us have one goal in common which is succeed at our internship.
My experience at Amway has been one with many first times, something unusual for somebody who had spent over 5 years in the work force. This is the first time in my career that I received flowers in my desk on my first working day and that I was welcomed with a lunch by my entire department, when my team who is in New York attended via videoconference. I believe, that explains why most of Amway’s employees have been with the company for double digit years.
I am really excited for the challenges of this summer, because now I have a new set of goals to accomplish for myself and a commitment to reciprocate the trust that my manager invested on me.
Is there any time when you dared to challenge the status quo to follow your dreams?