First week of my Internship: Done! 11 more to go…

Whew! I just finished the first week of my internship at Agilent Technologies. What a great experience so far. Before coming to school, I worked for a small commercial real estate investment firm with 12 employees. Now I am interning at a multi-national, publicly traded company with thousands of employees across the world. What a difference a year makes.


This summer I will be producing a pricing model to be used in one of Agilent’s high-growth divisions. The division generates $100 million a year in profit across four profit centers. Currently, each division prices one-off, custom deals on an ad-hoc basis. So my goal is to create a single, standardized pricing model to be used across all four businesses. The goal is prevent the analysts from re-inventing the wheel each time a deal comes up. Like I learned in Corporate Finance… does it have a positive Net Present Value (NPV), does it have a reasonable Internal Rate of Return (IRR), etc.

So, what in the crazy world of MBA speak did I just describe? Essentially, I will be creating a tool for management to easily decide whether or not a project is worth the investment for Agilent.

Although it’s only been a week, it amazes me how all the theory and concepts I learned in the classroom are immediately applicable to my internship. Organizational behavior taught us how to work in teams, recognize the different cultures within organizations and how to navigate around them. On my first day on the job, I was assigned as the team-lead on my project this summer where I will be working closely with members from marketing, legal and operations to survey current methods in deal valuations. I won’t actually be meeting my team in person because they are spread out across the world from New Jersey to Malaysia and the Netherlands. wow!

I remember our final assignment in Management Accounting was learning about the the concept of transfer pricing within an organization. How do you incentive and motivate a manager to maximize profits for their division but not at the expense of profits for the company as a whole? This is one challenge I will face this summer as I will need to create a pricing model that captures this data. This will ensure that a particular deal generates profits for both the division AND the company.

This internship will also be a great opportunity to network and meet other MBA’s at Agilent to learn about their career paths and how best to position myself in this economy. Also, as a testament to the strength of the UC Davis network, many UC Davis alums at Agilent have already welcomed me in the first week. There’s been a steady stream of fellow Aggies introducing themselves to me. Don’t they know I have to work! Just kidding. I’ve already set up individual coffee/lunch meetings with them over the next couple of weeks. It’s great to know that I can rely on them as a resource during my internship this summer. I know I will need all the help I can get!

My project swings into full gear this week and I’m really looking forward to it. It’s weird not having to “work” on the weekends. No papers, no studying or homework assignments due. This is a nice change of pace.

I don’t have any other plans this summer other than a few mini-trips here and there. Next weekend, I’m planning to meet a few of my classmates for a barbeque and a hike which should be a nice mini-reunion (I know, I know, I just saw them a few weeks ago!). Once Labor day arrives, I will be done with my internship. I have a few weeks to relax before school starts. I will be in Davis welcoming the first year newbies at orientation. It should be a lot of fun. Matt, the Director of Orientation, has been working hard the whole year to plan everything. He has a lot of great activities lined up. I can’t believe MY business school orientation was only 9 months ago. Now I’m going to be a second year MBA student! Time flies… Have a great summer everyone!

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2 responses to “First week of my Internship: Done! 11 more to go…

  1. Thanks for the exciting account of your internship, Ben! I'm glad you are able to utilize the value of the UCDavis MBA right away. This encourages me to study harder on the GMAT for the upcoming applications for Fall of 2010! :)

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