Making Connections: A Summer MBA Internship at Facebook

Melissa Young (pictured above) is a second-year student at Foster.

Melissa Young will graduate from Foster in June. Afterwards, she’ll be heading down to the Bay Area to take a job as a Client Solutions Manager in the Global Sales Org at Facebook. There she will continue to work with her team from last summer, when she was working as an intern at Facebook’s Menlo Park campus. It was an experience she described as thrilling, challenging, occasionally intimidating, and ultimately, quite exciting.

“Facebook is a big company that feels small,” she explained. “It’s very individual – with little overlap. Everyone on my team was working on national or global projects with major accounts. On my project, it was just me — no one had ever worked on it before.”

For 12 weeks, Melissa was tasked with putting together a business strategy for a new advertising sub-vertical.

“My manager was very supportive. She put me in touch with people who had worked on similar projects in the past. They were very helpful and gave me insight into what they had done to be successful.”

Given its core business, it’s perhaps no surprise, but that element of sharing permeates Facebook’s entire culture.

“I was tasked with putting together a business case and sharing it. Everyone is really encouraged to share information. In fact, it was part of my performance review. But it’s necessary. The work culture is very fast-paced. Everyone is trying to do huge things. If you have a win, you launch it with your customer and share best practices. There just isn’t time to waste.”

Melissa accepted her return offer because of Facebook’s culture.

“The culture is the reason why I’m going back. 100%. It’s the most positive, supportive, empowering environment I’ve ever worked in. The infrastructure and processes are designed to help employees perform at their best. They give you all the resources you need to be successful, and they give you important business opportunities – you don’t feel like a cog in the wheel. Even small things, like using Facebook Workplace — it all feels very personal.”

To succeed, Melissa relied on skills she developed in Foster’s core marketing class, and during her applied strategy project.

“I had to do a lot of research. I knew I was going to be presenting my work to my manager and my team and the other MBA interns at the end. I went back to the cases I had done in core marketing, and used them as a starting point. I used the structures I had learned to frame my thinking. I went back to the work I had done for Amazon during my applied strategy project — I worked on a similar new business opportunity.”

Beyond her project, Melissa found other opportunities for learning at Facebook.

“Facebook hosted intern events throughout the summer which was a highlight of the MBA internship experience. They offered a weekly professional development series on topics such as public speaking and presentation skills. Each week a VP from different areas of the company would host a Q&A with the 25 MBA interns. Then there were of course, a bunch of social events: a field day, a day at the Santa Cruz boardwalk, a Summerfest event, and a cooking class. Every week, Mark Zuckerberg hosts a Q&A and you can sit right in front of him. I heard from Sheryl Sandberg — I sat maybe 10 feet away from her four times this summer.”