Senior Financial Analyst, Kraft Foods
For Samantha Lane, a biomedical engineer-turned-finance MBA student, an internship was nothing short of essential. In fall 2011, Lane knew full well she was entering a new world of financial lingo and intense business course work. She immediately began applying for finance internships with medical companies, hoping for a finance role that might mesh with her three years at a New Jersey orthopedics firm.
Having completed two undergraduate internships, she understood that “an internship is a 12-week job interview.” Lane interviewed with several medical firms, then the Johnsburg, Ill., native met with Kraft Foods, where she found the right fit. She decided to take Kraft’s sales finance internship in her home state to focus on Kraft’s sales to restaurants and other distributors.
“Going from the medical field to food and finance was the biggest challenge—I was making the transition of industries and job functions,” she explained. “But my engineering background still feeds into finance. I now have a comfort level and confidence that I can do this in a real-world situation.” Lane helped track expenses and profitability for Kraft. One task was to retool a profitability database; another was to develop an efficient way to track return on investment for a $14 million budget.
“The cool thing is that the tool I developed for the $14 million budget will be used by about 200 sales representatives,” she says. “It was great having a structured program and projects with actual needs. It was very rewarding.”
The company’s “act like an owner” culture inspired her to give her all to her projects. She also formed friendships among other Kraft finance and marketing MBAs and met the division’s CEO and other finance leaders.
Lane's bold move outside of the medical industry paid off with increased confidence and practical knowledge. Other potential interns might consider her advice: “Don’t be afraid to go outside of your comfort zone and apply to any and all jobs, regardless of industry.”
Lane became a Senior Financial Analyst for Kraft after graduation. She recently left to be a Contracts Manager at Stryker Performance Solutions, a medical products and solutions company.