It’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.
MEDIAN MONTHLY PAY FOR HBS INTERNS AT HEDGE FUNDS: $9,615
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.
THE LEAST IMPORTANT REASON FOR SELECTING A SUMMER INTERNSHIP? PAY
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.
MEDIAN MONTHLY INTERN PAY FOR MBAS: FROM $6,591 TO $8,000
|School||Monthly Intern Pay||Finance||Consulting||Healthcare|
|Harvard Business School||$7,000||35%||25%||7%|
Source: School employment reports for Class of 2013 * Class of 2012 data