Tuck | Mr. Federal Civilian
GMAT 780, GPA 3.4
Stanford GSB | Mr. S.N. Bose Scholar
GMAT 770, GPA 3.84
Duke Fuqua | Mr. O&G Geoscientist
GRE 327, GPA 2.9
Kenan-Flagler | Ms. Big Pharma
GRE 318, GPA 3.3
Chicago Booth | Mr. Indian O&G EPC
GMAT 730, GPA 3.75
Wharton | Ms. Product Manager
GMAT 730, GPA 3.4
Kellogg | Mr. Indian Globetrotter
GMAT 750, GPA 4.0
Berkeley Haas | Ms. Jill Of All Trades
GRE 314, GPA 3.36
Berkeley Haas | Ms. Midwest Startup
GRE 328, GPA 3.51
Wharton | Mr. Big 4
GMAT 770, GPA 8/10
Stanford GSB | Mr. MBB
GMAT 740, GPA 3.95
Wharton | Mr. Swing Big
GRE N/A, GPA 3.1
Stanford GSB | Mr. Big Brother
GRE 329, GPA 3.2
Harvard | Mr. Low GPA Product Manager
GMAT 780, GPA 3.1
Kenan-Flagler | Ms. Nonprofit Admin
GMAT 620, GPA 3.3
Kenan-Flagler | Mr. Top Three
GRE 310, GPA 2.7
Ross | Mr. NCAA to MBB
GMAT 710, GPA 3.2
Kellogg | Mr. 770 Dreamer
GMAT 770, GPA 8.77/10
Tepper | Mr. Tech Strategist
GRE 313, GPA 3.0
Stanford GSB | Mr. JD To MBA
GRE 326, GPA 3.01
Duke Fuqua | Mr. Musician To Consultant
GMAT 710, GPA 1.6
Harvard | Mr. Bangladeshi Analyst
GMAT 690, GPA 3.31
MIT Sloan | Mr. Generic Nerd
GMAT 720, GPA 3.72
Darden | Mr. Military Vet
GMAT 680, GPA 3.5
Duke Fuqua | Ms. ELS
GRE 318, GPA 3.8
Wharton | Mr. Investment Banking
GMAT 750, GPA 3.1
MIT Sloan | Mr. International Impact
GRE 326, GPA 3.5

What MBA Interns Are Being Paid

moneytreeIt’s that time of the year again when MBA students venture far and wide from campus to take on their summer internships. For most of them, especially those in consulting and banking, their summer stint is a dress rehearsal for a full-time job offer. But it’s also a chance to earn some quick cash to help pay for the second year of their MBA program.

Just how much do MBA interns make? More often than not, it’s pretty much what they will make when they graduate. Of course, intern pay can vary widely, though less because of the schools they come from but due largely to what industries and companies employ them.

At Harvard, Stanford and most top business schools, the highest paid interns are in management consulting. MBA students  in consulting pull down median base salaries of $10,500, considerably more than the $7,000 median overall. At Chicago Booth, the median was a bit higher at $8,000 but the highest paid intern at Booth remarkably made $25,300 a month last year in a consulting gig. The highest paid Kellogg intern last year earned $19,000 a month, also in consulting. A Columbia MBA last year scored an internship in investment banking that paid $20,000 a month, highest in the class.


On the other hand, HBS students who ventured into entertainment and media made the least: just $3,000 a month, even less than those who went into internships for the government and non-profits where median pay was $4,800 a month. The median intern salary for a summer stint in financial services was $8,333, with hedge funds paying the most–$9,615–compared to venture capital which paid $5,100 a month.

Of course, in a world where many internships no longer come with pay, these are very good salaries for a summer job. Still, not all MBA internships pay that well. Booth MBAs who spent their summer working for e-commerce or Internet firms last year, roughly 7% of the entire class, reported earning only $550 a month in pay. It was the lowest intern compensation reported for any industry or company.

And this year, summer internship pay is generally flat for MBAs, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers. The organization found that for MBAs the average intern salary is $22.97 an hour, up slightly from $22.63 an hour last year. That’s the fourth largest intern pay among graduate students, exceeded only by engineering ($24.43), physical sciences ($23.58), and mathematics ($23.40). These numbers, of course, are for MBAs across the board, not merely those from the top-ranked schools.


Pay, however, is the least concern for most MBAs. When MIT Sloan last year asked its Class of 2013 the reason why they accepted an internship, 26.3% said it was due to job function. That reason was followed by industry choice, 21.3%; job content, 15.7%; growth potential, 12.7%, and the prestige of the firm, 9.3%. The reason for selecting an internship that was dead last in the survey at MIT: compensation, with just 0.4% of the vote.


School                             Monthly Intern Pay   Finance    Consulting   Healthcare
Harvard Business School$7,00035%25%7%
Stanford GSB$7,00026%10%8%
UPenn (Wharton)*$7,69343%17%8%
Chicago (Booth)$8,00041%20%4%
Northwestern (Kellogg)$7,00025%21%5%
MIT (Sloan)$7,50025%20%9%
Dartmouth (Tuck)$7,30032%16%7%
Duke (Fuqua)$7,20025%17%11%
UC-Berkeley (Haas)$6,59116%10%13%
Cornell (Johnson)$6,86043%15%NA
Virginia (Darden)$7,69430%19%3%
Michigan (Ross)$7,04514%22%1%
NYU (Stern)$7,93034%14%3%

Source: School employment reports for Class of 2013 * Class of 2012 data

About The Author

John A. Byrne is the founder and editor-in-chief of C-Change Media, publishers of Poets&Quants and four other higher education websites. He has authored or co-authored more than ten books, including two New York Times bestsellers. John is the former executive editor of Businessweek, editor-in-chief of Businessweek. com, editor-in-chief of Fast Company, and the creator of the first regularly published rankings of business schools. As the co-founder of CentreCourt MBA Festivals, he hopes to meet you at the next MBA event in-person or online.