Name: Hailey Lynch
Internship, Co-op or Research Site: The Hershey Company
Position Title: Advanced Capabilities Intern
Expected Graduation Year: May 2016
Briefly describe your internship, co-op, or research opportunity, including your day-to-day tasks, responsibilities, and assignments.
I was an Advanced Capabilities Intern in the Global Knowledge and Insights Department at The Hershey Company this past summer. Hershey is currently working with a Silicon Valley technology company to build new capabilities that will allow Hershey to analyze big data and advance analytics. I was one of three interns placed on the project. I was responsible for conducting a wide variety of analyses in order to gain insights into the consumer landscape and to answer high-value business questions. In order to do this, I worked with the technology company’s new capability and utilized a range of large public and private data sets. I also conducted statistical analyses using the programming language R. Additionally, I was responsible for meeting with key individuals on a biweekly basis to help shape and enhance the new capability.
Describe the process of obtaining your internship, research, or co-op opportunity.
I received an email from the Career Services Center notifying me that Hershey was looking for analytically minded undergraduates to fill its new internship position. I applied on Hershey's website and was notified by the Career Services Center that I had been selected for an in-person interview. Both a Vice President and a Senior Manager from the company came to UMBC to conduct interviews. Hershey called me back shortly after my in-person interview and offered me the position.
What have you enjoyed the most about your position or organization/company?
Throughout my time at Hershey, I was exposed to so many brilliant people, and I was able to learn so much about technology, big data, and the consumer packaged goods landscape. As a math major, I never imagined I would be given such a unique opportunity. I love that my position allowed me to utilize my analytical mind and quantitative background to help the company develop a new capability that will be used by future researchers.
How do you believe you have made an impact through your work?
Throughout the course of my internship, I made a multitude of recommendations for capability enhancements. In this way, I helped the system to run more efficiently, and I was able to leave my own personal mark on the capabilities being developed. Many of the recommendations I made either have been or are in the process of being implemented.
What advice would you give to another student who is seeking an internship or similar experience?
Be willing to try anything. I went into my internship unsure as to how a math major could be of any value to a chocolate company. My experience turned out to be invaluable, and it never would have happened if I hadn't taken a leap of faith at the start.
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