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What You Need To Know About The MBA Internship

Internships are one of the key ways that MBAs land jobs post-grad.

At the New York University Stern School of Business, nearly 60% of the class of 2020 secured job offers as a result of summer internships. For many MBAs, internships can provide an opportunity to explore a career and help lay the foundation for post-grad success. Fortune recently spoke to experts on what MBAs need to know about interning during B-school.


Where you decide to intern at depends largely on what you want to do post-grad. Experts say one big differentiator of the MBA internship experience is whether you choose to intern at a large company versus a smaller startup. Larger organizations will tend to have formal recruiting processes for internships with responsibilities and timelines set in stone.

“Often, [smaller] companies don’t have these big programs,” Emily Anderson, senior director of the Career Management Center at the Vanderbilt University Owen Graduate School of Management, tells Fortune. “It would require more networking on the student’s part to uncover some of these.”

While internships at The Big Four have traditionally been common for MBAs, recent years have shown the rise of tech and its popularity among B-school students. At University of Washington Foster School of Business, the placement rate into tech in 2020 was 53%, a nine percent increase from the year before. At Michigan State’s Eli Broad College of Business, tech industry hires were 37.7% in 2020, a whopping 18.4% increase from 2019.


Once you’ve narrowed down the type of internship experience you want, experts recommend familiarizing yourself with the industry and the company where you’re applying.

“Research what the position is all about,” Jamie Mathews-Mead, senior director of graduate career management at the Ohio State University Fisher College of Business, tells US News. “Know what employers are looking for and how you can add value.”

Additionally, remember that there is always more than one path to success.

“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 could be solid work experience at a company that doesn’t have a big name.”

Sources: Fortune, NYU Stern, P&Q, US News

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