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Shriya Chitale is a rising sophomore at USC. A journalism major turned undeclared major turned aspiring marketer, she wanted to spend her summer gaining valuable experience as a marketing intern, learning about the fundamentals of marketing, and living in New York City. She enrolled in Columbia's Business Practice program, a new intensive summer offering for rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors, which combines an internship at a New York City firm with coursework grounded in business. Thanks to this program, she's developing her marketing experience in the classroom and in the workplace. We asked her about her internship, living in New York City for the first time, and how Business Practice is helping her clarify her career goals.
Can you tell me what got you interested in Business Practice in the first place?
I was interested in journalism and advertising, but I wasn't sure what I really wanted to do. All of it seemed the same to me because I didn't have any experience. I wanted to be sure that I wanted to pursue a career in business, so I looked into a summer business program.
The thing I really like about the Business Practice program is you actually get to use what you learn in class. The class I'm in is Introduction to Marketing & Marketing Management, and I'm a marketing intern, so I'm putting what I'm learning to practical use.
Plus, if I were doing a summer program, why not do it in New York City?
Is this your first internship?
Yes, aside from interning for my dad's company in high school, this is my first time interning for a company.
Where are you interning now, and what do you do as a marketing intern?
I'm interning for an IT solutions company called NuvoSys Solutions. Most of my work is in their social media department.
The Business Practice program connected us with the internships. We answered questions like "What are you interested in?" "What do you hope to gain from your internship?" And they sent out our resumes to relevant companies depending on our goals. That's how we got our internships.
You mentioned before that what you learn in class helps you at work. Can you tell me a little more about that?
I've never taken any business classes before, so this is literally an introduction to marketing for me. Other students in the class happen to have more of a foundation in marketing. For me, everything I learn is new, and everything I learn is valuable.
We have really great guest speakers. We recently had a guest speaker who handles social media for an airline company. She really got us thinking about social media strategy. For me, social media means Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. But then she pointed out, for instance, that no one wants to follow an airline company on Instagram. However, they could have a very successful Twitter account that offers customer service. So I could apply that insight to my internship.
What are the classes like?
It's a little bit of everything: reading at home, case studies, class discussions, and a group project. In the class I'm taking now, I really like my professor, Elliot Burak. He brings the subject to life and gives us examples we can relate to – Nike, Apple, brands we recognize.
How is Business Practice helping you clarify and achieve your academic or career goals?
I know that I definitely want to work in marketing. It's something that makes me happy, and I look forward to doing my reading and learning more about the subject. Also, I no longer have any misconceptions about what that career is like. I realize that it's a lot of hard work; it's not what you see in the movies.
It's also been a really good learning experience living and working in the city. I'm originally from India, but my parents and I traveled a lot and I had been to the U.S. before I started going to college here. I realize now that living in New York on your own and visiting as a tourist are really different.
At the same time, I would probably not be able to get this kind of experience anywhere other than New York.
Program ContactsGeneral Information, Admissions Questions, and Advising
Office of Enrollment Management
School of Professional Studies
203 Lewisohn Hall
2970 Broadway, Mail Code 4119
New York, NY 10027-6902
Office hours: Monday–Friday, 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.