While more than 300 million people worldwide have turned to LinkedIn to expand their professional network, the technology giant has become part of senior Jake Bernstein’s professional network.
Last summer Bernstein ‘15 gained more than valuable work experience during a three-month internship at LinkedIn. He earned a full-time job offer after successfully competing against students from throughout the United States for a coveted position in the company’s Business Leadership Program (BLP). Bernstein’s job begins in July, shortly after he graduates from Dominican with a degree in Business Administration.
I could not be more ecstatic,” says Bernstein, who will spend his first year at LinkedIn rotating through the company’s sales, marketing, and operations units in order to explore opportunities that best fit his background and career goals. “LinkedIn has been as transformational for me as it is for the rest of the world.
Bernstein’s time in Dominican’s Barowsky School of Business also has been transformational. It wasn’t long after arriving on campus that he found himself in the company of faculty mentors eager to guide him –while opening doors along the way.
Business professor Dr. Chris Leeds helped Bernstein secure his first internship, working on a marketing project for the County of Marin. Dr. Kelly Weidner, assistant professor of marketing, identified Bernstein as a strong candidate for the LinkedIn internship.
“Jake is a natural fit at LinkedIn, a company that heavily emphasizes culture and fit with regard to its hiring decisions,” Weidner says. “At LinkedIn, I knew Jake would keep up academically and socially – working hard, making friends, and impressing everyone he came into contact with. Therefore, making those introductions and coaching him through the hiring process was an easy decision.”
Competition for the internship was intense, Bernstein recalls.
I was up against candidates from around the country, including students from several Ivy League schools, but I felt very comfortable as I went into my onsite interviews after talking with my professors about how to position myself as a great candidate for the job.
Working with the Sales Effectiveness Division, Bernstein worked with teams charged with identifying strategies to improve the delivery of the company’s products and services. He also developed an app to assist sales representatives visiting Chicago for a large company offsite. The app became a one-stop resource containing itineraries, speaker profiles, directions to all scheduled meetings, and even suggestions about what to do in Chicago at night.
Throughout the internship, Bernstein met senior leadership from throughout the company, learning from their experiences and listening to their advice. “One of the values at LinkedIn is that relationships matter. So, I made a point of embracing everyone I met as somebody who could help me in the future, and vice versa. I built strong relationships that I keep today.”
At the end of the summer Bernstein was invited to participate in a BLP candidate “pitch competition” for a full-time position in the graduate training and development program. The interns were put into groups and assigned a fictitious company and then told to prepare a series of presentations focused on ways that company could benefit from LinkedIn’s products.
The last day of the week-long competition, 16 candidates would present to potential hiring managers, all with hopes to increase display one last time their individual talent. While fewer than half would receive offers, Bernstein did not expect to hear whether or not he was selected until later in the year.
“On my last day as an intern, I spoke to my mentor at LinkedIn, thanking him for his guidance and asking if he had advice for me moving forward,” Bernstein recalls.
His response? “He said his first bit of advice would be to accept the job offer. It just felt unreal. I couldn’t believe I had a job offer before I graduated.”
“Jake was absolutely incredible to work with. His ability to build relationships quickly was a total game changer,” says LinkedIn hiring manager Amy Borsetti. “In addition, his eagerness to become great was evidenced by the hard work he put in and the feedback he received and immediately put into action. I couldn’t be happier that Jake is joining LinkedIn full-time next year. We are eagerly awaiting his arrival.”
As he prepares for life after Dominican, Bernstein notes he will be forever grateful for the support he received while a student.
My professors really cared about me and about what I was doing. They helped me get internships and they helped to guide me in the right direction. I cannot thank them enough for giving me opportunities.