Ray Banks is a business development executive at Infosys. Originally from California, he studied in Hawaii, has done missionary work in Italy, interned for companies in China and Taiwan, started his own brand of bicycles, and got his MBA at SDA Bocconi in Milan, Italy. Recently, he took the time to share his thoughts with Vault on his career, the reason he chose to intern at Infosys while getting his MBA, and his subsequent decision to join the firm full time.
During my MBA I decided I wanted to intern doing marketing in tech for an international company. I had an amazing summer as an intern at Infosys. As soon as I arrived I felt welcomed and like a part of the company. The InStep team is committed to ensuring that everyone has a great experience and I think they follow through really well on that.
Vault: You've had a very interesting career to date! Can you tell us a little about what drives you, and what informs your decision-making?
Ray: "Throughout my life I've developed an understanding of the things that are most important to me. Among those things are people, experiences, faith and self-improvement. I've made a lot of my decisions based on this. It motivated me to go to do my undergrad at Brigham Young University - Hawaii, go on a mission to Italy with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, do internships in China and Taiwan, and eventually intern with Infosys in India."
Vault: What attracted you to Infosys as a company? Had you heard of the firm before starting your MBA?
Ray: "When I was looking for an internship as an MBA student I was looking for three things: 1. Marketing; 2. Tech company; 3. International."
"Seeing as I was already studying in another country, there were actually a lot of opportunities that met these three qualifications. I had never heard of Infosys until they came and visited our campus, but I was very impressed with what I learned. The company was founded on values and ethics, and I was impressed with the story of how the company began. The internship seemed really well organized and they really valued the contributions from interns. On top of all that, when I talked to my Indian friends from my MBA program they told me that Infosys was like the 'most admired company of India' and that it was a very respected and well-known company."
"Infosys did a great job marketing their internship and even better job following through once I was there."
Vault: What can you tell us about your experiences on the internship?
Ray: "My favorite part about the internship was all the other interns. There were interns from 35 different countries and they all had really interesting backgrounds and stories. I loved getting to know them and experiencing India and the InStep program together. My project mentor was a great support to me and was always readily available to help me out. I worked on the data and analytics marketing team and developed ideas on how we could do more work with our top clients."
"Overall, it was a fantastic experience and I believe the best choice I could have made for an internship this summer. Not only for the work experience which was great, but for the entire experience including the people, the food, the trips, the culture, and the great memories."
"Afterwards I decided to take a job as a Business Development Executive at Infosys. Currently I'm working as a consultant with a large client. The InStep program prepared me by giving me connections within the company and exposure to company culture. Currently I am happy to continue occasionally interacting with old friends I made over my summer in India and I am working full-time in Texas."
Vault: How did your experiences at the internship mesh with what you'd been learning on your MBA program?
Ray: "The internship was pretty well-aligned with my studies. Up until that point in my MBA program we had mostly been focused on core studies and hadn't gotten too far into more focused classes. My internship was in marketing and it lined up well with the classes I took in the fall after my internship on digital marketing."
Vault: What was the process of applying/getting the internship like?
Ray: "First, I went through the possible projects and narrowed them down to the ones that I was most interested in and fit well with my background. After that, I wrote up a cover letter and submitted my application. After an initial interview with a member of the internship team I had an interview with my future project team and then I got the internship."
Vault: What kind of work did you do on the internship?
Ray: "I did marketing for Infosys Data and Analytics. I did things like create ideas to be put on to our website, research and recommend better ways to work with our clients and I also participated in the annual business plan competition."
Vault: "At what point did you decide to transition to a full-time role? What were the factors that drove that decision for you?"
Ray: "While I was still finishing up my MBA I was invited to interview for a full-time role. The experience was fairly smooth. I enjoyed the company culture and the people I had worked with, so when I got a good offer it didn't take long to accept. The key factors driving the decision were company culture, people I knew at the company, work I would be doing and overall package that was offered."
Vault: How did the internship prepare you for the experience of being a full-time employee?
Ray: "It gave me a good view of how things work within the company and connections within the company right from the start. I wish I was able to work more with the people I knew from my internship, but I had the opportunity to see many old friends when I went back to India for training, and when they have come to the U.S. for work."
Vault: Were there any lessons from your previous experiences—sharing the gospel, running your own business, etc.—that have helped you in your career to date?
Ray: "Absolutely. My experience sharing the gospel as a missionary helped me with my people and organizational skills. It helped me to better understand people with different backgrounds and care about people's different priorities. In the workplace that helps me keep a perspective that we all have different motivations and work differently. One of the biggest lessons my mission taught me is where to put my priorities which has helped me be happier in every aspect of my life."
"Running my own business was a very demanding and very rewarding experience. I learned a little bit about a lot of things, which has given me advantage in many ways. For example, I developed basic photo editing skills which have been very useful when preparing images for presentations. I also learned some basic coding which helps me keep up with some things related to my current position."
Vault: Is there anything else about your time at the firm that you think people should know?
Ray: " I would say that the Instep program is hands-down the best internship in the world. Out of everyone in my MBA program it would be hard to argue that anyone had a better internship experience. As far as converting into full-time, most of us received competitive full-time offers. The key is to meet full-time employees during the internship who can help pull for you to get hired and put onto their teams."
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