About the author: Lauren Krainski (pictured above, holding the gavel) is a second-year MBA student at Foster.
When I moved from the East Coast to attend Foster, I never expected that I’d be going back for my summer internship. And I definitely didn’t think it would be in investment banking.
Rewind to the summer before my MBA. I attended the annual Forte Foundation Women’s Leadership Conference (that year in Austin, Texas). There, I had the opportunity to meet hundreds of MBAs from across the country — including some of my amazing future classmates — as well as engage with a broad spectrum of large companies.
Coming from consulting, I knew I wanted to pivot my career into something different. Knowing that Foster attracted many West Coast-based tech companies, I used the Forte conference as an opportunity to learn about companies that didn’t fit that mold. I met women and recruiters from multiple investment banks. It seemed like a compelling way to leverage my consulting skills, but I didn’t think too hard about it at the time.
Two months later, I received an invitation to interview at Deutsche Bank for an internship in their New York office. I accepted the interview. Unexpectedly, I received an offer the very same day. I was excited, but it wasn’t an easy choice. I came to Foster to build my career in Seattle, and investment banking wasn’t something I had planned on doing. But in the spirit of taking risks and harnessing the sort of opportunities you only get at a top MBA program, I decided to take the offer.
Going into the internship, I was a little intimidated at the prospect of working alongside other MBAs from more investment finance-focused programs. But my fear was unfounded — I quickly saw that Foster’s incredible finance faculty had prepared me well. In fact, in some cases I felt better prepared than my peers.
In particular, core finance, financial statement analysis, and mergers & acquisitions were all very helpful. I used the concepts I learned in those classes consistently through my summer internship.
The summer was a whirlwind. Over the course of 10 weeks, I worked on nine different projects and served a diverse array of clients, from fintech to satellites to building products. I conducted acquisition math for an infamous cable client. At one point, my full-time colleague was absent, and I was trusted to lead the valuation process for a live acquisition.
Working on Wall Street for a global bank was an amazing opportunity, and I had the chance to connect with a truly diverse group of people every single day.
Looking back at my summer internship, I would encourage incoming Foster MBAs to explore and take risks. Be aware of what your goals are coming in, but be willing to learn about other paths you might not have considered. You too may find yourself with an amazing, but unexpected, opportunity.