Dana Lakkis: Securing a full-time position after two RBI internships

@IE University

Dana, who is ranked among the top in her class, is fluent in five languages and has lived in six different countries, has received the offer to join the prestigious RBI Leadership Development Program.

Dana Lakkis is a recent graduate from the Dual Degree in Business Administration and International Relations. For two years in a row, Dana has received the offer to join the prestigious RBI Leadership Development Internship program, run by Restaurants Brands International Inc. RBI is one of the world’s largest fast-food companies, boasting over 25,000 restaurants spanning 120 countries and comprising iconic chains such as Tim Hortons, Burger King, and Popeyes.

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Dana’s time in the program has given her an opportunity to see the world. In her first year, she was assigned to the Operations Excellence Department in Zurich, Switzerland, with the second year taking her further afield to Singapore, where she worked in the Procurement & Supply Chain department. And her consistently high performance during her time in the program didn’t go unnoticed—Dana has recently been offered a full-time position in Singapore after graduation.

Around the world, top companies across sectors are increasingly using the Summer Internship period as a way to gauge the performance of high-potential student candidates. And the success of the program is paying off, as ever-higher numbers of students are being offered permanent contracts upon graduation. This affords them the luxury of enjoying the  last year of their studies without worrying about job applications and recruitment processes. 

Dana, who is ranked among the top in her class, is fluent in five languages and has lived in six different countries.

How did you find this opportunity and why were you interested in applying?

I found the RBI internship in the emails sent by the Talent & Careers department and I thought: why not apply? I was still quite unsure about what I wanted to work in and thought this would be an interesting opportunity.

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What would you highlight about your two internships at RBI?

They were both great learning experiences with a lot of responsibility from day one. I did my first internship in Operations in Switzerland, and gained a lot of hands-on experience from the start as I spent the first three days of my internship in a Burger King restaurant.

This was after an orientation week during which I met my fellow interns and better understood what role each department plays in the company. I pursued my second internship at RBI in Singapore in the Procurement & Supply Chain department. Here, I mainly worked on new deals that the group was about to sign for Popeyes in the APAC region, and had the chance to meet suppliers and assist in the negotiation of quotes.

Overall, they were both very challenging and fun experiences with a lot of exposure to the company’s leadership team.

How you feel your IE University experience and/or the talent & careers department helped you secure this opportunity and perform during this internship?

Both the Talent & Careers department in particular and my IE University experience overall have helped me understand company culture and what attitude was expected of me throughout the internship. Additionally, the Talent & Careers department was definitely useful when giving advice on how to approach the interviews and manage the stress of the Assessment Center.

What would you recommend to other students interested in applying to this opportunity?

I would recommend being yourselves during the interview process and understanding whether the RBI culture is one that matches your expectations or not. The work environment is results-driven, fast-paced and relies on you being a curious self-starter. This is important as we were given projects that would impact our team’s targets, meaning our performance not only affected us but our team as well. Like many IE University alumni, Dana has a bright future ahead of her as she makes an impact in a challenging and lucrative sector. While the IE Talent & Careers department helped open the door for her, it was Dana’s hard work, dedication, and perseverance that caught the eye of the RBI recruiters, landing her this incredible position. We wish her all the best in the future and can’t wait to see what she achieves