MBA students gain skills and knowledge necessary for future employment through the combination of classroom instruction and MBA internship programs. An internship can be an excellent complement to either a top online MBA or campus-based MBA. Selecting an MBA internship program is often difficult as the options for interns are numerous. Most potential interns must prioritize their search based upon factors like: area of interest, hours, pay, function, formality, location, amenities and pay. Here are a few guidelines to assist students on an internship search.
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Consider All Potential MBA Internship Options Based On Your Interests
The first step to choosing an MBA internship is to consider all of your potential options. Concentrating your search efforts on potential internships which would allows you the opportunity to work in your field of choice. Searching beyond the most popular internship options, particularly those within large companies located within metropolitan areas, offers students the ability to perform meaningful work rather than superficial work. Looking beyond internships which offer prestige, pay, and considerable hours offers students the ability to advance their personal goals while gaining crucial on the job experiences necessary to propel their careers. Each student has individual and unique abilities, ambitions, and character based upon his or her path and direction. Avoiding the most common internships, like those with pay and many suggested within MBA internship guides and directories, provides individuals with the opportunity to base their internship search upon genuine interest which, in turn, cultivates skills and inspires confidence.
Narrow The Search and Investigate Options Using Available Resources
Narrowing your MBA internship based upon your interest, abilities, and goals quickly eliminates a number of internship options and allows you to focus your search on a particular field or function. The next important step in selecting an internship involves spending time researching available resources. Many students find a wealth of information within internship directories at libraries, bookstores, and some online programs. Many publications, like The National Directory Of Internships, Peterson’s Internships, The Internship Bible, and America’s Top Internships, offer students a reference point and give students the opportunity to overlook potential internships by field or location. Additionally, many students find referring to books based upon their career interests offers them information not included in most internship directories. Online internship sites, like WetFeet.com and MonsterTrak.com offer students current information based on up to date MBA internship opportunities and lesser known internship sources, like start up companies, non profit organizations, and small businesses. Investigating many options through published and online resources offers students the search foundation necessary to make the best internship choices.
Network And Gather Opinions
Sourcing potential MBA internships based upon your interest and findings within online and/or published resources, considerably narrows available opportunities but still leaves many options. Networking is generally the third step in ensuring your final choice is the best MBA internship for you. Asking other students, professors, and section leaders regarding their recommendations and experiences is tremendously helpful in gathering opinions to form your final decision. Many students also find attending job fairs and speaking with career counselors assists on their internship search. Additionally, speaking with parents, siblings, alumni, roommates, friends, and associates is valuable during the internship selection process. Everyone knows someone and chances are, the conversations you have directly with the people around you could potentially lead to or uncover a potential internship match you may not have found otherwise.
Look Beyond Typical Options
Typical internship directories and online resources offer students the most popular MBA internship options but do not provide for frequently overlooked “intern initiated” internships. Sourcing internships beyond programs that are publicized and already exist can lead to tremendously rewarding experiences. Trade journals may be helpful in assisting the intern initiated process as they provide information regarding companies in your future profession. Contacting organizations and firms that interest you and approaching them with a well thought plan may lead to a great internship. Creating a plan focused on what you could bring to the company by exemplifying personal skills, interest, experiences, values and what you’d like to accomplish and learn through an MBA internship could be largely beneficial to both the organization and you.
Sort, Organize, and Select
After gathering possible internship information from publications, online sources, trade journals, and networking, you must sort the information to begin eliminating options, know when application deadlines are, and meet requirements necessary to go forward. Sorting the materials you collect through various sources allows you to realign your interests and focus upon the most important aspect of the internship: performing actual, rewarding work in your field. Considering location and pay factors is also important when sorting potential internships before you select the one which meets your interest level and other factors. Internships are increasingly competitive, regardless of their location, and particularly if they offer pay. Exploring options to cover your expenses while fulfilling internship responsibilities may require sacrifices in terms of the location you prefer. Sorting out the less than desirable internships from the more desirable internships helps students manage information and truly distinguish their interests. Contacting companies through phone contact or email is often a great way to assist in the sorting process. Listing deadlines, qualifications, and materials required by potential companies you would accept an MBA internship from helps you organize and manage your research while you select and apply to your final choices.
What Is A Typical MBA Internship like?
A typical MBA internship lasts 6-12 weeks and allows students the ability to gain practical work experience performing a wide range tasks. Many MBA students select internships based in marketing, finance, advertising, and other business related divisions of organizations. MBA internships offer students a solid understanding of the complexities specific departments of organizations. MBA interns work closely with senior level executives to increase skills and administrative knowledge and also participate in seminars, presentations, and other events to expand contacts and experience. MBA interns often perform clerical duties, like making photocopies, and more specialized duties like: identifying target markets, developing social media and communications strategies, manage website content, monitor and update blogs, assist with newsletters, attend industry events, manage and create financial statements, forecast budges, and analyze financial and market data. Many interns attend company social events to meet employees and supervisors within different departments, establish professional relationships, and increase network contacts. Most interns also find mentors with supervisors and upper level executives within organizations who offer guidance and answers to any industry or organization related questions. Some interns voluntarily work extra hours to display their work ethic and increase their experiences. Internships are a great way to gain tangible skills necessary to build your resume, career portfolio, and experiences necessary to advance to employment.
The Benefits Of an MBA Internship
MBA Internships offer students the ability to participate in employment based upon their field of studies and open doors to their career possibilities. Internships are a great way to gain experience and meet people who can offer guidance and career possibilities. Careful research and consideration in the MBA internship selection process ensures students acquire the skills they need to maximize the internship experience, gain knowledge and guidance, and expand career potential. MBA internships give students unique, on the job experience necessary to advance educational and career goals. MBA interns apply information learned within degree programs to on the job situations while increasing exposure, establishing professional relationships, and displaying skills. Additionally, MBA internships also provide students with important professional connections with mentors, supervisors, and other employees who may act as a reference upon graduating and beginning their job search.
MBA internships are important before and after graduation, especially during economic downturns when employers seek new hire candidates with previous on the job experience. Internships offer MBA students the unique ability to also gain post graduation employment as many companies prefer candidates who have completed internships with them. Most firms often choose former interns for interviews before other new hire candidates when seeking employees. An MBA internship is a great way to increase understanding of employment options within various career fields before entering the workforce and provides students with a foundation to base sound career decisions upon after graduation.
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