Written by Guest Blogger Ayush Agrawal – MBA Strategy Intern at Schneider Electric in Schaumburg, Illinois
Why Schneider Electric?
I am a couple of weeks away from finishing what has been my finest learning experience in my relatively short professional career. I have spent the past few months as an MBA Strategy Intern on the North American Strategy Team, out of Schaumburg, Illinois. However, my association with Schneider Electric began in India, where my background in Electrical and Electronics Engineering made me pursue an opportunity to represent my school on a small project on Green Buildings. I got even more familiar with Schneider Electric when I managed projects for L&T Construction, Schneider was the preferred provider for Low and Medium Voltage products. (SE acquired the Electrical and Automation division of L&T, 2 months back).
When I got an opportunity to work over the summer (in the US), I immediately reached out to SE. An opportunity on the Strategy Team seemed to fit my bill perfectly, given my background in construction, educational training, and career goals. Moreover, the prospect of working with the North American Strategy Team really made it a straightforward decision for me. I had 3-4 conversations with the team (Yann, Brian and Darcy) before I even came on board which gave me the opportunity to know more about the team, the challenges, and their outlook on the ever-changing industry.
My Experience as an Intern
Cory ensured I settled into my role quickly, since we had spoken about my assignment, even before I walked in on the first day. This helped me get going from day 1 as I started reaching out to stakeholders and sharing ideas. As I worked on this assignment, I had the opportunity to work on another very “could be strategic” project for SE, this time with Brian. 3 weeks into my role I was now juggling 2 projects simultaneously, and I was already reaching out to different teams within the company. Working on 2-3 different things at the same time, involving different stakeholders, separate product lines, and thus separate timelines and execution strategies, made me take note of the diversity of work within the team and the organization in general.
Everything that I did as an intern involved a lot of collaboration and conversation. I spent my days speaking with subject matter experts, understanding field challenges, and sharing thoughts with the teams on site in specific markets. I am very pleased to share that everyone I approached was not only receptive to my thoughts, but also provided constructive feedback and gave me an opportunity to test my notions. There were a couple of instances when people offered to take my work forward once I went back to school, and that made me realize how the organization felt about impactful and meaningful work.
Key Takeaways from my Internship
My experience over the summer has been defined by the conversations I have had with people across the organization. Through my projects, I have had the opportunity to interact with many different colleagues, and learn from their experiences in the industry. Getting feedback from seasoned campaigners in the industry made me pay attention to detail, refine my analysis, not get fussed with details at times and assisted me with actionable insights to prepare myself for a career in the energy management realm.
I am grateful to SE for giving me the opportunity to be a part of the collaborative culture, the forward-looking outlook on energy, technology and the industry. I’m glad that I chose to spend my summer at SE, doing what I have always loved doing. I hope I have been able to add value with my recommendations.
Finally, for those pursuing an internship, I wish you luck and would urge you to:
- Be approachable and open to feedback
- Reach out to people outside your team to know about their journey in the organization
- Get involved with the Business Resource Group that appeals to you
- Know fellow interns well and learn from their experiences
- Learn about Schneider products – Visiting Home Depot or trade fairs could help!
Feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions.
About the Author
Ayush Agrawal is a MBA Strategy Intern with the North American Strategy and Business Development Team in for Schneider Electric. He will be graduating in May 2019 with a degree in MBA, from Kelley School of Business, Indiana University. In his free time, Ayush enjoys travelling, trekking, water sports and playing cricket.
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