Rotman Reinvents The MBA Internship Model

University of Toronto, Rotman School of Management

University of Toronto, Rotman School of Management

‘WE HAD A PROBLEM AND I WORKED IT BACKWARD’

For Jackson-Cox, the idea was something of an obsession. She thought of it as a way to significantly improve the school’s placement rates. Though 80% to 85% of full-time MBA students were landing summer positions,  many of those opportunities were either unpaid, involved school research projects, or failed to lead to a full-time job. The school’s students were able to convert only 25% of its summer internships into full-time job offers. Last year, 76% of the MBA graduates were employed within three months of commencement with median starting salaries of $88,385

Karen Jackson-Cox is the director of the MBA Career Center at Rotman

Karen Jackson-Cox is the director of the MBA Career Center at Rotman

“We had a problem and I worked it backward,” says Jackson-Cox. She first unsucessfully pitched a co-op inernship model in 2013 and tried again a year later when she won the endorsement of the new dean, Tiff Macklem. “It’s a major modification of the program structure and it could also increase the diversity of jobs in healthcare, consumer products and retail. And there happens to be few investment banking jobs in the summer, but a lot more in the other cycles.”

Her outreach to companies has already produced 300 new opportunities from only 20 companies, above and beyond what the school had been getting. “We’re seeing a lot of great jobs in these other cycles,” adds Jackson-Cox. “We might not have enough students to fill them.” The school expects more than 1,000 internship postings for all three seasons—at least three opportunities for every student in the annual intake of 350.

“This structure allows Rotman to compete with schools that have a coop experience for MBA roles,” says da Silva. “Choice will be expanded because employers who didn’t recruit will now offer internships to students in the last four months of school,” says da Silva. “More mature students will go from internships to full-time jobs—a just-in-time strategy for MBA talent as companies hire for everyting from a new project to coverage for maternity leaves.”

DON’T MISS: MEET THE ROTMAN MBA CLASS OF 2017 or THE CASE AGAINST THE GMAT

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