Immersion Learning

Gaining Valuable Experience, Before Your MBA Internship

by by John Schumacher, MBA '13 (10/31/12)
by John Schumacher, MBA '13

I came to Johnson as a career changer looking to break into investment banking.  Previously, I worked in private wealth management, and also held a business development role for a staffing firm in NYC.  One of my big concerns relating to my career search - and ultimate success on the job - was my ability to manage the technical aspect of the business.  One of the main reasons I chose Johnson was because of the Investment Banking Immersion. 

The program did just what I was hoping in preparing me for a successful internship.  During the immersion, I gained experience creating pitchbooks, developing and modeling both IPO and M&A strategies, and even presenting a strategic alternatives pitch to a CEO visiting Johnson.

Fortunately, I was able to secure an investment banking internship with a global banking and financial services company in NYC, which lasted for ten weeks.  The internship was a rotational program allowing me to working in both the Global Industrials and Leveraged Finance Groups.  This was an excellent opportunity as a career changer, giving me experience in both a coverage and product group.  I was able to work on many projects, ranging from the pitch, through announcing live transactions.  During my summer I was able to work on three announced transactions: a $2B healthcare LBO; a $3B Industrials LBO; and a $2B Automotive M&A transaction.

Like most internships out of business school, a summer in investment banking is a ten week sprint.  Given the small window of opportunity to make impressions, it is very important to hit the ground running at the beginning of the summer.  I think the Investment Banking Immersion along with the rigor of the core at Johnson prepared me very well for this experience relative to my peers.  In speaking with my colleagues from competing schools, no other school offered the same opportunities to practice the specific functions of the business.  Given the competition throughout the summer, I believe the Immersion Program was a large contributor to my success over the summer.