MBA Internship Profile: AT&T

Tuesday, February 06, 2018 at 12am

In her first year as an MBA student at Emory University’s Goizueta Business SchoolShanay Kinds became interested in AT&T’s leadership development program as a potential post-graduation career option. An MBA internship with the telecoms firm, Kinds decided, would give her the perfect chance to see if AT&T could meet her expectations. “Interning with the company was my way to connect with people in the program and learn first-hand about the AT&T culture to see if it would be a good fit for me, post b-school,” she explains.

However, as it does for so many students, the MBA internship also provided plenty of scope for building on what Kinds had learned during the first year of her MBA. During her internship, for example, Kinds and her team won an intern case competition at AT&T in which she had to step out of the comfort zone of her technical background and grapple with less familiar terrain. “Winning the award made me feel confident in my newly developed marketing skills and showed me just how much I’d grown in my first year of school,” she says.

Better still, her experience culminated in a full-time job offer to return to AT&T after graduating and one which she was happy to accept. Kinds is now well into the first year of the company’s leadership development program – read more about her MBA internship experience and how Kinds became convinced that AT&T was the right place to further her career in the full interview below.

Which department did you intern in and what kind of projects did you work on?

I interned in the team responsible for managing the deployment of AT&T wireless solutions in indoor and outdoor venues, such as office buildings and stadiums. My projects were focused on improving collaboration and communication between all teams involved in the deployment process from project managers to field technicians.

Why did you decide to intern at AT&T?

I was really excited to intern at AT&T because I had great interest in the company’s full-time Leadership Development Program. Interning with the company was my way to connect with people in the program and learn firsthand about the AT&T culture to see if it would be a good fit for me, post b-school.

What was the application process like?

I applied online via AT&T’s career portal and then had a series of interviews. The interview types ranged from video stream to in-person panels.

What were your impressions of AT&T’s corporate culture?

There were three aspects of AT&T’s culture that really stood out to me during my internship:

  • Everyone’s willingness to help - the environment was very collaborative. My colleagues, even those who weren’t on my team, supported my efforts that summer. They brainstormed with me and pointed me in the right direction when I hit a roadblock, connected me with their vast networks throughout the company, and, in general, made me feel like a member of the team and company on day one.
  • AT&T’s genuine dedication to the community - while interning, I participated in AT&T’s Day of Impact, which is a day set aside for interns to volunteer with local organizations and help build their respective communities. That showed me that, as a company, AT&T values a spirit of service and is dedicated to it.
  • The culture that stood out to me was a general excitement about the direction of the company. Senior leadership seemed very excited about the future of the company, and that positive energy flowed down to employees.

What did you enjoy most about your internship?

I really enjoyed the planned field trips that gave us exposure to different areas of the business. My favorite trips were to the Drive Studio for the connected car [a center working towards products aimed at improving aspects of the driving experience, such as safety, entertainment, and security], the Atlanta Foundry to learn how AT&T is channeling innovation, and the connected home demo house for Digital Life [ a home security service]. The trips were a fun, interactive way to learn about the business and meet new people.

What were some of the challenges you faced during your internship?

The biggest challenge I faced last summer was finding a balance between working on my projects and building my network. In the first few weeks of my internship, I learned the importance of prioritizing my work and realized that I needed to be much more intentional in my day-to-day activities.

Of all the things that you accomplished during your internship, what makes you the proudest?

My proudest moment was winning the Best Promotion Strategy team award in our intern case competition for GigaPower, now AT&T Fiber. The promotion slide in the presentation ended up being my responsibility, but I was fairly intimidated by the assignment. I come from a very technical background so the marketing mindset was very new to me when I started business school. Winning the award made me feel confident in my newly developed marketing skills and showed me just how much I’d grown in my first year of school.

What advice do you have for MBAs who are interested in interning at AT&T?

Don’t be afraid to reach out to people who currently work for the company, and be yourself in the interviews!

Is there anything that you would like to add about your internship experience?

Because of my summer internship experience, I found AT&T to be a great cultural and professional fit and accepted the offer to come back to the company full time. I am currently in my first rotation of its Leadership Development Program and have already utilized skills and tools that I learned during my internship. My projects gave me the opportunity to identify and develop useful soft skills that complement my technical background – making me a more confident, well-rounded leader.

Get the inside scoop on the AT&T Leadership Development Program

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