CAS’16 | Economics | Minors: Statistics & SMG
Data Analytics Intern in the eCommerce Department
Saurabh Mahajan used Boston University resources to find an internship with Staples. Through this experience, he acquired several new skills and improved some old ones.
CCD: Tell us about your experiences. What were your responsibilities?
Saurabh: I analyzed large sets of data to figure out what brings people to the Staples website and how Staples can spend its money more effectively on digital advertising. I was responsible for creating forecasts and scorecards, and I spent a lot of time doing analysis projects on specific areas of digital advertising.
CCD: How did you find the position? What helped you get it? What resources (at BU or elsewhere) did you use?
Saurabh: I found the position through BU CareerLink. To get the job, I had to go through a couple rounds of interviews (after submitting my application), and I got help with practice interviews from my friends.
CCD: What is one thing you’ve learned that will benefit any future internships or other hands-on experience?
Saurabh: Along with some more specific software, I went from feeling like a beginner/intermediate with Excel to an expert. This was something that I never really thought too much about until I started looking for internships last year, but it became pretty obvious how important these specific skill sets are to employers — especially in jobs that have to do with finance or data analysis.
CCD: What advice would you give to another student about making the most of a summer experience?
Saurabh: I would recommend casting your net as widely as possible. I think a lot of students tend to limit themselves to really specific, traditional jobs (i.e., corporate finance, corporate accounting, operations, etc.). These jobs are great, but with all of the innovation happening in/around Boston, it’s a really good time to look at jobs with eCommerce companies/departments or with start-ups. The job I had this summer didn’t even exist last summer, and it was an incredibly useful and interesting learning experience for me. I think it’s good to have a plan for how you’re going to get the job you want after you graduate. However, I also think, now more than ever, that it’s important to stay aware of the new opportunities that are being created every day, and to understand how they may fit into your long term plan.
CCD: What are the benefits of the type of summer experience you did?
Saurabh: Having a paid summer internship at a large corporation has a lot of benefits. Along with getting paid, you have a lot more responsibility associated with your job and a more defined role within your department. You get a very thorough understanding of what it would be like to be an entry level employee at that company. You also have an entire class of interns, so there are a handful of people at the company who are in the same boat as you. Also, a lot of large companies hire for their entry-level positions from the summer intern pool, so if you work at a company as a rising senior and do a good job, you can potentially get a return offer and have a job lined up for after graduation.