By: Travis McNamara, Summer Consultant
Travis is currently an MBA candidate at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business.
I was fully prepared for the first day of my internship: my interview process with AGI had been thorough and informative; I had spoken to some of my future co-workers on the phone; and I had read the pre-internship books (“Sales Growth Imperative,” “Compensating the Sales Force” and “The Value Selling Anthology”). But as I waited for the elevator on my first day, I was nervous. Would I be able to add value? Would I get along well with everyone? What would my day-to-day actually be like?
My nerves were quickly calmed when I began to meet my new colleagues. A friendly, supportive culture was readily apparent. My first week was a whirlwind of onboarding activities, group lunches, best-practices training and project planning/kickoff activities. Colleagues at every level of the office were generous with their time and genuinely interested in making my transition to the firm as smooth as possible.
My most meaningful takeaway from the first week was realizing that I was going to be contributing to my project team–not merely shadowing a ‘real’ team member. The project kickoff date coincided with my first day–so right away I was dialing into client calls and seeing the project plan take shape.
During the course of the project I helped run analyses, build slides, synthesize interview notes and much more. Each step of the way my team worked closely with me to not simply provide edits to my work but to make sure I understood why each change was made. Ultimately, I was trusted to own the cost model workstream and present the Monte Carlo simulation results to the client’s steering committee. It was a powerful affirmation of not only what I had learned but also the trust I had built with the team and client throughout the summer.
As rewarding as my client work was this summer, I would be remiss not to mention the social side of my summer. My very first day ended with an office-wide happy hour, allowing me to put faces to names in an informal setting. Over the next 10 weeks, there were more happy hours, a golf outing and countless lunches and dinners with people in the office. The standout event has to be our corporate kickball league championship. My project team and I even scheduled our flight to the client site to ensure we could participate in the championship game!
I am so thankful for how supportive and encouraging everyone was this summer. I am truly fortunate to have had the opportunity to both immerse myself in such interesting work and to pull my own weight on a project team. It’s hard to believe 10 weeks have already flown by–but even harder to believe I was ever nervous about what my summer would entail.