Don’t Give Up the (Intern)ship

Eric Klein '16, Career Advisor

Eric Klein '16, Career Advisor

On January 8, 2005, the attack submarine USS SAN FRANCISCO (SSN-711) was transiting submerged at flank speed from Guam to Brisbane for a much-needed liberty stop. This Saturday morning was unfolding normally by all measures, as the crew cleaned their spaces and prepared for an afternoon drill set. Suddenly, at 11:42am, an earth-shattering crash rocked the ship’s hull, ejecting the crew twenty or more feet from their seats. Recognizing a collision had occurred, the Officer of the Deck ordered the Diving Officer to emergency surface the ship, and although the forward main ballast tanks had ruptured and were leaking air, the diving officer managed to surface the ship using an emergency blow to the aft main ballast tanks. One sailor, Machinist's Mate Second Class Joseph Allen Ashley of Akron, Ohio, tragically lost his life due to injuries from the collision, but the other 114 members of the crew were saved.

Much like USS SAN FRANCISCO struck an uncharted underwater seamount, unplanned events and sheer bad luck can affect even the most prepared. But the Principles of Shipboard Damage Control can help you get back on track in your internship or full-time search, even if you feel like you are floundering.

Know how to use and maintain damage control equipment. Ensure you are using all available job search resources to their fullest extent.

  • GTS Job Postings contain hundreds of new job opportunities, with new ones posted every day. For example, at the time this article went to press, GTS contained 456 full-time and 151 internship job postings.

  • In addition to the public Employment Report, Career Services also publishes an internal Employment Report containing five years of data on where specific students accepted internship and full-time offers. You can access this report through the Career Services webpage on the Booth Intranet. This can help you in identifying companies that may not be on your radar, but ones that have hired from Booth in the past.  

  • Booth has reciprocity agreements with several other top MBA programs, which gives you the ability to view job postings at partner schools, if you are willing to visit in person. You can email crc@lists.ChicagoBooth.edu to arrange an appointment.

  • Career Advisors and Career Coaches offer their time throughout the Spring and can help you refine your search strategy.

Know your way around the ship, even in the dark. Continue to refine your elevator pitch, your “walk me through your resume” story, and your SOAR frameworks. Solicit and apply feedback on these stories from your peers.

Have confidence in your ship’s ability to withstand severe damage. You’ve trained for this moment, and no one else has put in the work that you have. Remember that you are a student at the world’s premier MBA program, Chicago Booth.

Finally, remember the 10th Principle: Keep cool – don’t give up the ship.


Eric recalls passing a placard of these principles countless times on his daily pre-watch inspection.