Summer Fellowship Program

The Summer Fellowship Program at Columbia Business School encourages and enables MBA students to contribute management expertise to growing startup organizations.

Summer Fellow Spotlight

Lauren Amery (CBS '16) 

On interning at Faherty Brand and growing Dagny Scout

“I had a lot of people tell me to go work with a big fashion brand over the summer, but if you really want to learn how to run a fashion company and have an impact on things from day one, work at a startup. Working at a big company gives you a narrow view within one role. At a startup you step into different roles every day and really get a sense for how all of the roles work together,” says Lauren Amery ‘16 who interned at the beach-inspired clothing company Faherty Brand this summer.

Lauren drew upon her background in finance and fashion to help Faherty analyze historical sales for finance, merchandising and planning purposes. “I learned the importance of being adaptable,” she says, “I came on to work in marketing, but the skills I developed over four years in finance were more useful.” These valuable takeaways will continue to play a role as Lauren grows her own venture Dagny Scout, a women’s athletic apparel company specializing in fashionable golf, tennis and apr├Ęs sport wear.

Over the past year, Lauren has taken advantage of many resources at the Lang Center to help her launch her company. She was involved in Lion’s Lab and the Summer Startup Program with Entrepreneur in Residence Barbara Roberts, while also working from the co-working space AlleyNYC. In her second year, she plans to apply for the Entrepreneurial Greenhouse Program and take other entrepreneurship classes, as well as continuing her involvement in student clubs. “The community at CBS has been so much more supportive than I ever could have imagined,” she says, “being an entrepreneur can be discouraging, but people here are excited for you and interested in your ideas and that’s really inspiring.” 

Lindsey Sanders (CBS '16) 

A Q&A on interning at Sir Kensington's

What have you been working on at Sir Kensington’s?
My work over the summer has supported Sir Kensington's mission to provide an all-natural condiment alternative for consumers. I am helping to increase our sales and brand exposure by scaling our sales operations in the restaurant and hotel space. This has included forecasting revenue and analyzing distributor reports, as well as developing partnerships, sales processes, and customer pricing.

I considered a few offers for the summer, but decided to go in this direction because I was passionate about Sir Kensington's products and the impact they are having on long-standing ketchup and mayonnaise monopolies in our country. I also knew this role would give me the opportunity to leverage the new skills I had learned at CBS! It has been very refreshing to get involved and make an impact on a company over the course of the summer.

How has Columbia Business School prepared you for your responsibilities at Sir Kensington’s?
The core curriculum has definitely provided me with the framework needed to analyze a wide array of situations and present recommendations. I have used a lot of Finance and Strategy when analyzing data and making revenue projections. I have also leveraged the Operations and Marketing core courses to understand everything from supply chain to branding, both of which are very important at Sir Kensington's.

How will this experience inform the remainder of your time at school and your career path?
In the upcoming year I will focus on more entrepreneurial classes (e.g., Entrepreneurial Selling and The Complete Financier). I plan to stay plugged into the entrepreneurial food scene at CBS through the Gourmet Club and the Food Lab. I also hope to stay on at Sir Kensington's throughout the year.

Business School is a perfect time to pursue entrepreneurial opportunities, whether that means starting your own company or joining an existing company. It has definitely been an important time for me to explore entrepreneurial opportunities on-campus, through networking and internships. First semester, I was an engagement manager for the Small Business Consulting Group and completed a consulting project for a local restaurant. This spring, I interned at a gourmet food subscription box company called Try the World, which was founded by CBS and SIPA alums. I also took advantage of being in NYC and our alumni network by speaking to many past students about their experiences in food entrepreneurship.

What are some of your long-term goals?
My long-term goal is to have a senior role at a growth-stage food company that is impacting the way that consumers eat and changing food culture. I would also like to have the expertise to advise other start-ups and help them grow sustainable food companies.

Rob Terrin (CBS ’16; SIPA ’17) 

On Divising a Better Strategy for BETTER Mobile Security

When Summer Fellowship recipient Rob Terrin (CBS ’16; SIPA ’17) applied for a dual degree at CBS and SIPA, he envisioned his path leading to a role at an international development financial institution. The following months, however, would prove to have some surprises in store. “Right after I submitted my application to Columbia, I did a project at a Multilateral Development Bank, and I found out it wasn’t for me. I thought to myself, if I’m not enjoying this big corporate experience, what are my alternatives? 

The dual degree track includes two summers, which Rob knew would give him the opportunity to take more risks and explore his options. “I knew I wanted to do something entrepreneurial. New York City is becoming a tech town – people are excited about the tech scene here and it’s growing quickly. There are a lot of opportunities because there is capital and people looking to invest.”

Rob was visiting the enterprise technology growth accelerator, Work-Bench, on a CEO Tech Trek last fall when he learned about BETTER Mobile Security, an all-in-one security platform dedicated to protecting data on mobile devices for enterprises. The Summer Fellowship Program enabled Rob to join the BETTER team as an intern this summer, with the key responsibility of developing their strategy and pitch for VC funding. “Right now we have a great product that makes mobile phones safer for companies, and makes the mobile environment safer in general,” says Rob. He has used this opportunity to hone his market research skills and better predict future trends. Rob’s first year of classes has provided a solid foundation to answer what he describes as the key question: “where is this model heading in five to ten years, and how can BETTER fit into it?”

In the long term, Rob plans to launch his own company. “This internship has taught me that I still have so much to learn about what that entails,” he says. The experience has also reignited Rob’s interest in taking courses geared toward statistics and technology, and has enabled him to lend his efforts to helping BETTER improve mobile security.


Program Criteria

The Summer Fellowship Program supports internships that have a high probability of success for the employer and the student.  Employers are expected to invest time and resources into structuring and managing the activities of the summer fellow.

Summer fellowships must meet the following criteria:

  • The Internship description should be well-scoped, have clearly-defined expectations and deliverables, and identify the supervisor who the student will be reporting to;
  • Deliverables should be challenging yet realistic and have a meaningful impact on the host organization;
  • Student has mid- and end-of-summer reviews with the supervisor; and
  • The employing organization provides a sufficient commitment by funding the internship to the maximum of its ability. (Employers are asked to contribute a minimum of $600 per week. Exceptions and salary expectations are described in link form below.)

At the end of the summer, each employer will be asked to provide feedback about the Entrepreneurship Summer Fellowship Program and the student’s impact on the organization via a short online survey. 


We are no longer accepting applications for summer 2015. Please check back next spring to participate in summer 2016.