Lux Insights, a North Vancouver-based independent marketing research company, is a small business working with big brands.

Founder and president Claire Booth and her team of eight serve clients such as Nintendo, ICBC, BC Hydro and Colliers International. With her business growing, Booth decided to look for an intern for some extra help – a cost effective option for a small business and a good way to evaluate a potential permanent employee.

Active in the marketing community, Booth is a fan of giving back to the marketing talent of the future, and speaks at B.C. universities including the Sauder School of Business at UBC, where she met MBA candidate Eli Berenbeim.

Looking for a long term investment

Booth recognized that for a small business, internships can be a hard sell to students. But for Berenbeim, an internship with Lux Insights was a perfect fit. Specializing in the Entrepreneurship and Innovations track of the UBC MBA program, he was seeking a role that allowed him to talk directly to customers and stakeholders.

“I’ve worked for a large organization before and found myself frustrated with bureaucratic processes, so I wanted to test the waters of the small business environment, where I thought it would be easier to drive new initiatives,” Berenbeim says.

A pilot of understanding

Eli made that happen right from the start, impressing the Lux team by bringing a new proposal forward in his first two weeks.

“This had never happened before with past interns,” says Berenbeim’s supervisor, Carmen Chang. “Eli’s passion to take charge and spearhead projects was evident.”

Inspired by his strategic insight, Booth allowed Berenbeim to take the lead on designing and executing the Millennial Compensation Pilot. “We recognized that the recruitment and retention of top talent is a pain point for many businesses, and wanted to explore what motivates Generation Y,” Berenbeim explains.

Once complete, Booth presented the study at a U.S. conference to enthusiastic applause. “It was nice to hear that something I had taken ownership of was successful,” says Berenbeim. “I take pride in the work I produce and it’s nice to hear that the effort paid off.”

“Working at a smaller company gave me the opportunity to test what I have learned with different clients and develop a wide range of skills, under the direct guidance of the President”

- Eli Berenbeim, UBC MBA Class of 2015.

Small business, big opportunities

Berenbeim’s passion to take charge and spearhead projects provided impressive opportunities for him, including direct contact with clients and even pitching to venture capitalists. Not the norm for your average intern.

“I was able to extract so much more than a paycheck from this internship,” says Berenbeim.

From writing proposals and designing surveys, to conducting interviews and composing reports, Berenbeim did it all. “Working at a smaller company gave me the opportunity to test what I have learned with different clients and develop a wide range of skills, under the direct guidance from the president,” he says.

Berenbeim is now excitedly building his career, as he’s been hired to continue working for Lux while he finishes the last few months of the MBA program.

“Claire’s entrepreneurial energy motivated me and made me think bigger,” explains Berenbeim. “It drives me to be not just an employee, but a leader, and carve out opportunities for both myself and the company I work for.”


Companies looking for talented summer interns can learn more about the MBA Internship Program here.