Jimmy Ayoub: Johnson & Johnson
How did you come about your internship?
I initially went to a Penn State Career Fair focused on Supply Chain and did research before on the companies attending. I looked up things like what they are about, their values, and what they do. During the fair I went up to a recruiter from Johnson & Johnson, had a really great conversation and she felt I was a good candidate for the role. The turn around time was really fast, l scheduled an interview for the day after I met the recruiter. The interview was in person at a hotel close to Penn’s campus. I had an interview with 2 people 45 minutes each; it was pretty standard, lots of behavioral based questions and a couple high level supply chain questions. I also had an excel case study in which I had to do vlookups and make a pie chart. Lucky I was able to finish it within time and do well. About a week later I heard back from the recruiter saying that I got the position.
Can you describe the Johnson and Johnson culture?
Pretty good culture, good work life balance, been around a long-time, and people are relatively smart and well rounded. Some people can be resistant to change because they have been there for a long time and are sort of stuck in their ways. There are definitely areas that can be worked on, but maybe I am just part of a different generation and see things differently. Overall I think J &J is a friendly company and pretty independent. The style varies from team to team, my team was different in the sense that we didn’t have that fast of a pace and didn’t have that many deadlines. We focused a lot on process improvement and learning than anything. There also weren’t many tactical objectives; we were looking for opportunities to make changes, and how to solve large problems. My team was new, so we still had a lot of learning to do.
My manager was good and taught me what I needed to learn about the company, helped me out with whatever I needed and was pretty approachable in all situations. He also helped you interact with management and taught me that politics is a reality at all companies and is used to get things done. Initially I wasn’t familiar with the business, and once I got familiar with the structure of the company, I got more independent, and was able to work on a bunch of projects with customers.
My team wasn’t the greatest - they could have improved on better interacting with interns, and also could have given us more exposure. I liked that I was able to travel to Belgium, which was very valuable. I also got to do a lot of data analytics work, which is very beneficial to me in the future.
What advice do you give to students looking for similar opportunities?
Definitely take advantage of the opportunities you are given and just reach out to people; set up time and talk with them. They will give you career advice and let you learn from their own personal experience. You have to play a little bit of politics and make the right connections with people. Learn how to balance priorities, and make sure you have good time management skills; it pushes you further and takes you to the next level.