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You Need an MBA Internship, Here’s Why

January 02, 2019 :: Admissionado

Congratulations! You’ve landed your dream school! Your family’s thrilled, and after months of preparation and many bottles of champagne, you’ve arrived on campus and are ready to LEARN. “So long application process, you cruel mistress.” But wait, what’s this? Internships? I need to apply?

Yes my friends, life is a journey, and the applications don’t end when you’ve been admitted to your MBA program. Internships are more important to the MBA experience than they’ve ever been, and choosing the right one could be just as important as choosing the right school. Luckily, your school knows this, and they’ve got your back – provided you’re proactive and put in the legwork.

Most MBA programs provide support right from the jump, and will help you line up internship opportunities the minute you’re accepted. Let’s call this the “fast track” approach since the aim is to maximize your professional experience as soon as you’re accepted into the program. Furthermore, many focus on “quality” and encourage students to find a “Goldie Locks” internship – the one that’s juuuuussstttt right for you. They want you to consider your IDEAL internship before your first semester even begins. Some, like Yale, even integrate internships into your curriculum, making them mandatory outright, as they claim over a quarter of their grads return to their summer employers full time, with many more receiving offers. So the good news is that you’ve got support – you knew grad school would be good for something!

If you are one of the many (and we do mean many) MBA students using the degree as an opportunity to switch careers, these internships are even more important. An internship is your opportunity to test the waters and see what life is really like in a given industry, all while gaining the experience you need to jump to a new field. Consider it your chance to “try before you buy” so to speak, as many a student has refined or even shifted his or her career interests post-internship. However, you DON’T want to be wishy-washy with your choice of internship here, as every choice made closes other doors. Internships are increasingly about your long-term goals rather than simply exploration, as the landscape gets increasingly competitive.

Additionally, like countless other aspects of your MBA, this won’t be a walk in the park. Summer internships cram another three months of work in a two-year MBA that’s stuffed to the brim with courses, networking opportunities and extracurricular activities. You’ll be busy, very busy, but you’ll thank yourself once you’ve graduated as the right internship will give you a much-needed leg up during your post-graduation job hunt. What’s more, while not all MBA internships are paid, the majority offer very competitive salaries – $6,600 to $10.6K per month on average depending on your industry of choice! That can knock off a chunk of those every increasing MBA costs.

(And yes, consulting firms are the most generous. Naturally.)

Have we sold you on the importance of these internships yet? Good. So onto the big question: are they time sensitive? Increasingly so, as companies that have historically recruited from both first and second year students have begun focusing most of their efforts on first years. That makes choosing the right internship, and choosing it early, more important than ever. Your dream company would rather stick with a former intern, a known quantity they can count on, than hire some new wildcard. You want to be that known quantity.

After your internship, your odds of getting a job offer depends on a few factors: the state of the economy, your MBA program’s career development program, and how many alumni are at your firm of choice, among others. If you’re interning in tech, an understanding of that field beyond business will play a key role as well. The good news is that your school DEFINITELY wants to see you gainfully employed in the field of your choice, post-internship, and will facilitate this with mixers, networking events and access to exclusive job postings.

So what have we learned today? Internships rock. You want one. You NEED one. And thankfully, your school is eager to help you land the one that’s right for your career path. This is your opportunity to connect with the company of your dreams, and you don’t want to miss out.


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