The Most Diverse Business Schools


The Best MBA Internships for Landing a Full-Time Job


Congratulations! You made it. Your first year of business school is in the books. I’ll bet you’re pretty relieved. Now, it’s one down, one to go, right?

Not really, I’m afraid.

Now, the real test – the internship – starts. Think of it as an 8-12 week tryout. After a year-long layoff, you can finally apply those skills that you’ve been dying to try out. Thanks to acing your interviews, you can finally see what it’s like to work at your dream job and your dream company. And wouldn’t it be such a relief if you could land an offer before school starts? I mean, do you really want to start over with interviews? And wouldn’t it be pretty embarrassing if they didn’t hire you?

Well, here’s a reality check: Not every intern gets hired. Some don’t perform as advertised. Others size up a firm and realize it isn’t a cultural fit. Of course, you’ll always find those who get the epiphany that this really isn’t the role or field in which they want to work.

Wondering where you might have the best shot of converting your internship into a full-time job? Recently, Linkedin recently mined its data to determine the percentage of 2014 MBA graduates who ultimately returned to where they interned. Using a 1,000 student sample, Linkedin found that management consulting was the best industry to land work, with 61 percent of interns returning to these firms after graduation. That said, you could look at this data in two ways. First, it could reflect that consulting firms were more likely to make offers after the summer internship, Or, it could mean that a higher percentage of interns were happy with the firms where they interned.

Where else do you stand a decent shot of being retained? Banking and financial services finished a distant second to consulting firms with a 42 percent internship-to-job conversion. That industry was followed by information technology (39 percent), consumer goods (37 percent), and oil and energy (36 percent).

Are you patting yourself on the back for landing an internship with a venture capital or private equity firm? You might want to stop. Just 13 percent of interns in this field return after graduation – 10 percent lower than the next-lowest industry (investment management and 23 percent).

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Of course, Linkedin doesn’t provide any analysis to explain these numbers. In the case of consulting, Bloomberg Businessweek suggests that it could stem from “six-figure compensation packages” and being a “more established internship-to-job pipeline.”

However, another explanation could be that interns working in consulting (and banking) develop stronger professional bonds with their peers. For example, interns who made 20 or more Linkedin connections with peers returned to the firm at a 53 percent rate. And it was 43 percent for those with 11-20 connections. At the same time, just 25 percent interns who gained 1-5 Linkedin connections returned after graduation.  In other words, there was a strong correlation between network depth and either job performance or satisfaction.

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Sources: Linkedin and Bloomberg