Internship Search: Changing Your Mind

When I came to Wharton, I had one mission: Get a marketing internship at a top Beauty company.

I wrote about it in my admission essays. I networked with 2nd years that had just returned from the type of firms I wanted to join. I analyzed print ad after print ad. I spent the equivalent of a weekend trip to Miami on a sheath black dress and killer studded jacket, because stuffy banker suits won’t fly on 5th Ave. I added red lipstick to my morning ritual. I even put “Allure Best of Beauty Awards” as a ‘Personal Interest’ on my resume… ridiculous I know.

I did all that. And I prepared for my Beauty interviews to the detriment of my other interviews during Focused Recruitment Period (aka FRP). [That reminds me, I’m going to save you some anxiety down the road… you will BOMB at least one interview during your search for an internship. Absolutely, positively, no-possible-recovery, BOMB it. It’s okay. It happens to everyone. Learn from it and move on to the next one. You didn’t really want to work for (insert undifferentiated company) anyways. Right? 🙂 ]

I did everything I was supposed to. And I got it.  I got my dream job at my dream company.

And then I changed my mind.

Long-story-short, I realized that I had more to learn. I realized that I knew too much about my dream company and dream industry to waste this gift of 10 weeks.  It was too similar to my previous experiences, too familiar, too comfortable. I realized that I was discounting myself by sticking to the original master plan. The plan that said I needed functional experience at this level with this type of firm, before I was ready to tackle my long-term dreams.  I was being too safe.

If Wharton has done anything, it has taught me that I’m more prepared for the unknown than I let myself believe. That I am as capable as I will allow myself to be. I’ve learned this lesson through my courses, my extracurriculars, my involvement with the Wharton Leadership Program, but most importantly through my peers who inspire me everyday. They inspire me with all that they achieved by taking risks.

So where am I going?! I’m joining the type of company that I pictured myself at maybe 5 years from now. So the master plan is still valid, just skipping a few steps. I’ll be in LA with Pressed Juicery – a fantastic start-up that is taking the world of cold-pressed juices by storm. And unlike most packaged juices I’ve tried, they have an amazing, delicious product. And a great team that is equally excited to learn from me as I am to learn from them. I would have never even considered recruiting at this type of company had they not had a relationship with Wharton and the Career Management Office. Check them out at:

So I leave you my fellow risk takers with a quote from an old friend, which will especially be appropriate on that last leg between Vegas and LA as I drive cross country this May:

“Buy the ticket, take the ride…and if it occasionally gets a little heavier than what you had in mine, well… maybe chalk it off to forced conscious expansion: Tune in, freak out, get beaten.” -Hunter S. Thompson

A small town girl with big city ambitions, Sara comes to Wharton via the Windy City of Chicago, where she once ran the Pasta Department of the nation’s only Rice-a-Roni plant. Later she used approximately 1.3 semesters worth of her engineering background to develop snacks, cereals, and other treats for the Quaker Oats brand. It was there that she discovered her love for focus groups, consumers, and their seemingly erratic behavior. When not at Huntsman or 2401, Sara can be found jogging along the Schuylkill Banks or enjoying AMC dramas (Mad Men, Breaking Bad, etc.) with her husband Dustin.