Where in the World did you Spend your Summer–Brian Thorne (OE)

TOMS Shoes

Santa Monica, CA

What did you do this summer?
I spent the summer working at TOMS Shoes in Santa Monica, CA. For every pair of shoes purchased, TOMS gives a new pair away to a child in need. Through this “One for One” movement, over 1,000,000 pairs of shoes have been given to children in countries such as Argentina, Ethiopia, South Africa and the US. My role at the company was to examine a variety of areas within e-commerce, including customer acquisition opportunities, paid search strategy and the effectiveness of social media outreach

What was your background prior to HBS?
Typical “finance guy” specializing in the Consumer/Retail space – 2 years of investment banking at Lazard FrŠres and 3 years of private equity at Catterton Partners

Why did you choose to spend your internship a TOMS Shoes?
I’m a strong believer in the concept of consumerism driving donation. By selling products that are desirable in their own right, companies can more effectively generate dollars for their causes, as well as profits for their businesses and thus remain sustainable. Also, from a professional development perspective, I hoped to gain a greater appreciation of the challenges faced at a fast-growing, entrepreneurial company like TOMS on a daily basis. Oh, and let’s just say I didn’t MIND living in Hollywood and working at the beach for the summer.

What advice do you have for RCs looking for summer internships?
Think out of the box about a company/brand that you’re passionate about. Check the Job Bank and pray that it’s not listed. Then, proactively reach out to someone in the organization and make your pitch. This is arguably your last chance to venture out to a new geography and/or industry so be sure to take full advantage