I am back to classes, but will continue working part time through the school year. I spent the summer at the Franklin Mint’s internship program in Finance. Most of the MBA interns worked on special research projects in marketing, but I ended up spending most of my time doing real work for the department writing special spreadsheet and quantitative data uploading and downloading processes for budgeting and reporting. I think my summer experience is more practical for the real world. I have more flexibility with my schedule at school this year, so I’ve piled my courses into fewer days so I will continue to work at least two full days at the Mint each week through the school year.
I thought the Investment Banker’s world sounded like high stress, but the Franklin Mint is a really tough corporate environment, and I think it is a good training ground for me from a culture standpoint. The people there are really sharp, but they are all very competitive and almost high school clique-y. It wasn’t my first choice. I really wanted to work at Hewlett-Packard, where the corporate culture is really people oriented. I was so excited when they recruited on campus, because they have a plant about 20 minutes from my house. But they weren’t hiring any interns locally. Playtex was willing to take me back for the summer, but it would have been in the computer operations area. I don’t know why they would think I’d want to go back to that role. I loved working at Playtex, but I have to feel like I’m not wasting my time going to grad school.
This year, the classes will be more challenging, and there is already a focus on finding a job for after graduation. Some people just about had their jobs locked up at the end of their summer internship. I’m missing out entirely on the social life at Wharton. I work in groups a lot, but I don’t have a circle of friends to hang out with when I’m on campus. Even in classes, I pretty much keep to myself. It seems like everyone else always hangs out with others outside of classes and group projects. I just go to class or to work, then go home and study. It’s my own doing. Most of the time Lou is out of town, so it isn’t like I have to be home to make dinner or anything. I wasn’t like this at SCCC or Stony Brook, and I don’t have a clue why I am now. Maybe it would be different if we lived on campus as we did at Duke.
Lou’s done so much with his MBA and is his one-man shop is doing well. The “big eight” firms bring in consulting clients usually from projects that come out of their accounting and audit work. So I don’t really see where they can really justify calling themselves independent auditors, accountants, or consultants. At least Lou is not motivated to create work for other divisions of a big organization. He still does a lot of presentations and speaking engagements for APICS and other groups, and gets word of mouth recommendations for his project contracts. He’s a great speaker, and is really good at what he does.