Anchal Gupta MBA 19 at the AT&T Forum
Blog

Starting Early in the Summer Internship Hunt Pays Dividends
MBA thrives in AT&T’s Finance Leadership Development Program

Thrilled to embark on a new journey, I flew from India to the U.S. last summer with hopes and dreams to begin the Full-Time UC Davis MBA program.

With my background in computer science and IT, I was excited to learn new things through the business courses. I also started looking early for summer internship opportunities.

TO FOCUS ON STUDIES, SECURE AN EARLY OFFER

I started my MBA thinking about management consulting as my next career track, but I quickly became more interested in finance and strategy. I kept my options open when corporate recruiters started visiting the School for information sessions and interviews. I secured an interview for the AT&T Finance Leadership Development Program. I was both excited and nervous, as it would be my first company interview in the U.S.

I felt relaxed having secured an early offer and was able to focus more on my courses, concentrating my studies on product management and finance.

After a few rounds of in-person, phone and online interviews, I got an offer—from one of the Fortune 500’s top 10 most successful companies.

Anchal Gupta MBA 19 at the AT&T Forum

I felt relaxed having secured an early offer and was able to focus more on my courses, concentrating my studies on product management and finance. That winter, AT&T sent me my project description and work location. With the email reading “Oakton, VA,” I had to Google what “VA” meant to find out I was heading to Virginia. While excited to live near Washington D.C. for the summer, it would be my first time on the East Coast.

A TEST LAP FOR MY NEW SKILLS

After a schedule of tough electives in the spring quarter, I landed in D.C. on June 18. I was thrilled to be taking part in a renowned leadership program and to have my own spacious cubicle and a title: program manager.

The best part was presenting our achievements and an idea for a strategic initiative to executives at the AT&T headquarters in Dallas, Tex.

Throughout the summer, I took on new challenges and tried my best at learning new things, as well as improving my communication skills and building relationships with my teammates and supervisor. I put my IT experience to work again in helping my team automate financial processes at the executive level and honed my new business skills by developing financial projection models and P&Ls.

The best part was presenting our achievements and an idea for a strategic initiative to executives at the AT&T headquarters in Dallas, Tex. I applied skills gained from my MBA courses on product management, core finance, articulation and critical thinking.

PREP FOR IMPACT PROJECT

It was a great experience to meet and work with other interns in the program, who were passionate about the company and the program. Most were from MBA schools ranked in the top 40 or higher.

Finishing up my internship and going back to class was bittersweet. I miss the salary! But I’m excited to see my MBA friends and meet the new class of students. I’m also looking forward to starting my IMPACT project this fall, working with a company in a different dimension and gaining industry experience.