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Fridays from the Frontline: 3 Ways Marketing at Booth Led to Summer Internship Success

Fridays from the Frontline

The opportunity for internships between the first and second years of business school is one of the things that sets full-time two-year MBA programs apart from other degree options. MBA students endeavor to land the best internships they can in fields they want to explore or end up in—recognizing the value of both the experiential learning and the opportunity to make an early good impression on a future full-time employer.

The University of Chicago Booth School of Business has developed a reputation for helping its students not only land coveted internships but handle them with aplomb. Recent Booth graduate Christine Bonini (MBA ’18) took to the Booth Experience Blog recently to discuss how Booth’s marketing curriculum prepared her for a summer internship at Pfizer, which then led to her current full-time role as pharmaceutical marketing manager at the pharma giant.

The following post has been republished in its entirety from its original source, the Booth Experience Blog.

3 Ways Marketing at Booth Led to Summer Internship Success

by Christine Bonini, MBA ’18

Before starting my internship in marketing, I was both excited to get back to the workforce, but also terrified how this role could impact my post-MBA position. Making a good impression was extremely important because my performance during the internship determined whether I would secure the full-time offer. And unfortunately, many of the larger companies with marketing roles do not necessarily re-recruit in the fall for full-time, so I did not want to screw it up!

The good news is that the marketing courses at Booth really prepared me to succeed on Day 1 during my internship. I learned a lot during my experience in pharmaceutical marketing this summer and here are the top three reasons why marketing was valuable during my internship.

The Consumer Comes First
One of the first lessons I learned about marketing at Booth is that a consumer-centric approach is a must. When developing new products or improving upon an existing product, the first step you need to take is to gather insights about your consumer’s wants and needs. This was really important during my internship because I was working on a project to launch a new service for sales reps to use when detailing products at the physician office. The first step was to understand what physicians want out of that interaction, what type of information is critical for their prescribing decisions, what are the current gaps in the process today, etc. Once I collected these insights from the sales force and the physicians, it was much easier to ideate on what this new service could potentially be.

Data Drives Decision-Making
However, in order for my idea to become a reality, I needed to collect data to support those insights and then present it to leadership to get buy-in and approval to move forward. The data-driven approach that we learn in marketing at Booth was essential for my success. I was able to quickly figure out what qualitative and quantitative data might be important to support my idea. I had interviews and anecdotes from physicians, I analyzed prescribing and interaction data from their internal systems, and researched external sources about competitive services offered. These data points were extremely important to get leadership approval to fund a small pilot project for this new service.

Test Concepts with Target Audience
Finally, when trying to a launch a new and disruptive idea, the concept needs to be tested with the target audience. Another aspect of my job this past summer was thinking about how to set up a pilot project to test my new concept/service in a limited market. I was able to use one of the frameworks discussed in New Products Lab at Booth and adapt it to the pilot project for my new service. During this pilot, we planned to measure the impact of our new marketing strategy with physicians and see which messaging was the most effective and how physician prescribing behavior changed. These metrics would determine whether to launch this new service more broadly within the organization in terms of geography and therapeutic area.

My summer experience really encapsulated some of the key activities within a marketing role—consumer research, data-driven analysis, and concept testing. And I know I will continue to leverage the knowledge and frameworks from my marketing courses at Booth in my full-time position as a pharmaceutical marketing manager at Pfizer.

Posted in: Fridays from the Frontline, MBA Career Strategy, MBA Feature, News

Schools: U. Chicago Booth

About the Author

Jonathan Pfeffer
Jonathan Pfeffer

Jonathan Pfeffer joined the Clear Admit and MetroMBA teams in 2015 after spending several years as an arts/culture writer, editor, and radio producer. In addition to his role as Contributing Writer at MetroMBA and Contributing Editor at Clear Admit, he was also a co-founder of the Clear Admit MBA Admissions Podcast. He holds a BA in Film/Video, Ethnomusicology, and Media Studies from Oberlin College.

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