What To Know When Applying for an MBA Internship
With summer rolling around, many MBAs are looking to secure an internship.
Katherine Hobson, a contributor at US News, recently spoke to experts on how MBAs can lock down their summer internships.
Getting A Head Start
Experts advise applicants to start early when it comes to researching and connecting for opportunities.
Typically, informal recruiting and company events can begin as early as fall.
“We reach out to (students) as soon as we know they’re coming,” Naomi Sanchez, assistant dean of MBA Career Management and corporate recruiting at the University of Washington’s Michael G. Foster School of Business, tells US News.
Zach Mayo is the chief operating officer of RelishCareers, the marketplace for MBA hiring.
In an article for P&Q, Mayo advises applicants to follow the timeline below from May to July:
- Research career opportunities and formulate an early target list
- Use career sites, student portals, or other digital platforms to research employers, identify networking leads, and view recruiting schedules
- Attend summer conferences (Forte, Consortium, etc.) and firm-specific networking events (mostly at banks and consultancies) to get a serious head start on recruiting
- Reformat your resume according to school guidelines and start refining its content to meet MBA recruiting standards
Starting early, Mayo says, is key to securing an MBA internship.
“During the course of your company research and the building of your target list, make sure to confirm all relevant dates and deadlines for each of your target firms,” he writes. “But be sure to start your prep early – it’s not a great idea to show up on campus without knowing if you want be interested in being a consultant or not.”
Personality Matters in Interviews
Preparing for technical aspects of the interview is important. However, an interview is also an assessment of your fit into a team.
Experts say it’s important to highlight both technical and interpersonal skills during your interview.
“Sometimes MBA students rely and focus on technical skills or GPA or GMAT scores,” Jamie Mathews-Mead, senior director of graduate career management at the Ohio State University Fisher College of Business, tells US News. “Those are important, but employers also want to hire people who are likable and with whom they want to work every day.”
Your internship will be a stepping stone for your long-term career goals. And it’s important to know that where you end up this summer won’t be where you’ll be at years down the road.
“People think that if Goldman Sachs is their long-term goal, they have to intern with Goldman to get there, but there are 100 different ways to get there,” Toni Rhorer, associate director of career coaching and programming at Arizona State University’s W. P. Carey School of Business, tells US News.
It’s also important to leverage the skills you learn this summer to build your resume. Even if you don’t end up where you dream of, consider it a learning experience.
“I always tell students it’s just as important to know what you don’t want to do as what you do want to do,” Stephen Rakas, executive director of the Masters Career Center at Tepper, tells US News.