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By  Justin Hart, MBA ‘10

hartThe summer internship is an important and defining moment for MBA students.  It provides opportunities to network with new colleagues, grants exposure to different industries, and allows students to practice some of the new concepts taught during the first year of business school.  That’s why I was so excited to have the opportunity to complete a brand management internship at The Dial Corporation in Scottsdale, Arizona this summer.

I was one of seven interns at Dial that represented MBA programs from The University of North Carolina, Duke University, UCLA, Arizona State University, and of course The University of Arizona.  For those of you that aren’t familiar with Dial, I’d bet that you are already a consumer of some of their products.  Dial is a major consumer packaged goods company that owns the following well-known brands:  Dial, Tone, and Coast soaps, Purex laundry detergents, Right Guard and Soft & Dri deodorants, Renuzit air fresheners, Soft Scrub household cleaners, and Combat pest control products.

For my internship, I joined the Home Care marketing department and focused on the Renuzit brand and the consumer aircare category.  During the summer, I worked on a number of projects, but focused primarily on two key initiatives.  The first was a competitive analysis of the aircare category and the second project involved quantifying the impact of a recent packaging redesign.

The experience that I had this summer at Dial was unique for a few reasons.  First, I had access and exposure to very high-level executives.  For example, I had a number of meetings with various brand managers, directors, VPs, and even presented my final project to the CEO.  Second, the internship provided me with an overview of so many different aspects of brand management in the CPG industry.  I learned the nuances of various product categories ranging from household cleaners to personal care products and laundry care products.  Finally, Dial really pulled out all the stops for the interns.  Members of various cross-functional teams organized a number of social events that allowed both full-time staffers and interns to mingle in casual settings that included group dinners, rock concerts, and extended happy hours.

Overall, I had a great experience at Dial and can’t wait to pursue a post-MBA career in brand management.  I feel very fortunate to have had such a great experience and would encourage other MBAs to pursue an internship at Dial if you have an interest in brand management and the CPG industry.