MBA internships: find and get the one that’s right for you
If you are starting an MBA program or are about to start your MBA degree, you are probably thinking of one learning component: the MBA internship. What do MBA internships look like and what do they have to offer?
MBA internships are a crucial part of any MBA program, providing hands-on experience, networking opportunities, and a close-up view of your future role. This page will offer practical advice on how to find and apply for an MBA internship and how it pays off. MBA internships should be seen as an excellent learning opportunity. Read on to see why.
What is an MBA internship?
An MBA internship is a supervised work experience that typically takes place in the summer after the first or second year of an MBA program. The aim of the internship is to give learners practical work experience in a specific industry. The length of the internship depends on the student: the experience usually lasts 2-3 months for full-time students, while for part-time students it can take a whole year.
Depending on the company, MBA internships are sometimes paid, sometimes unpaid. Some schools offer university credits to complete an internship; However, it depends on the school or program.
The benefits of an MBA internship
Completing an MBA internship offers a variety of benefits for your future career, including:
- Practical experience
- An overview of a particular job / role
- Opportunities to acquire industry knowledge
- Financial compensation
- Possible job offers after the internship
- Higher income after the internship
It’s no wonder that many professionals view their MBA internship experience as a formative experience.
What types of MBA internships are there?
MBA internships are typically focused around three main areas: technology, financial services, and consulting. The most common types of companies that host MBA interns are:
- Design offices
- Technology start-ups
- Financial services and consulting start-ups
- Big tech companies like Apple, Google, Microsoft, etc.
- Large consulting firms like Deloitte, Boston Consulting Group, Bain & Company, etc.
Many MBA programs partner with industry leaders to streamline the internship search process – this can be a stepping stone to securing a secure job with great rewards! However, remember that opportunities can come from almost anywhere, from familiar names to small businesses in your local community.
How to find and land an MBA internship
Finding and landing an MBA internship shouldn’t stress you out. If you approach the process intentionally and strategically, you will easily find the internship that’s right for you! In the future, remember the following tips:
- Prepare for recruitment as early as possible.
To land the right internship, you need to start preparing to apply as early as possible. Recruiters can start accepting applications for summer internships as early as January, so you need a plan of action ready months before your internship begins. Start networking months in advance. Also, keep up to date with and attend information sessions offered by potential recruiters.
You will also need to balance your MBA courses with preparation for the internship. Keep in mind the following time management skills:
- Get enough sleep every night
- Stay organized with a calendar, reminder notifications or other systems
- Use work interval systems, such as the Pomodoro method
2. Gather a list of the types of internships that interest you.
The MBA internship that fits your needs won’t just fall on your knees. Be intentional and make a list of possible options that match your career plans. Quickly cross out the options that do not match. It could mean clarifying your career plans to begin with.
Ask yourself what career options are available to people in your MBA concentration. Think about what type of industry, position, or business size you would like to work in. What type of corporate culture appeals to you? Then continue with the internship which gives you hands-on experience in the role, company and industry that interests you.
3. Seize multiple avenues to find internships.
Staying on the lookout for different networking opportunities is essential to securing an MBA internship. Your peers and teachers are a good source. Being friendly with classmates and instructors can help you discover placements you wouldn’t have experienced otherwise. Look for recruiting events offered by your school or program, such as career fairs, alumni networks, and career counseling centers.
Also, be sure to browse the internet for online opportunities offered through LinkedIn or online job sites such as Indeed, Glassdoor, and WayUp. Email the companies you like to see if they are hiring interns. Another great avenue is to contact former managers, co-workers or even family members to ask for connections that could lead to a potential internship.
4. Prepare strategically to land the internship you want.
During the internship application process, you need to be strategic about marking an internship that you are passionate about. Use your school’s career service center for advice on how to write your application materials. Your CV, cover letter, interview, and presentation material should be tailored to the corporate culture, industry, and ethics of the recruiter. All of these should show your basic knowledge in the industry and your enthusiasm for the opportunity to learn more!
5. Accept an MBA internship that’s right for you.
If you want your MBA internship experience to go well, make sure it goes well. Consider whether this internship seems to match your career goals, and if you are likely to learn anything substantive from this experience. If a company’s culture and communication style don’t match your expectations, it may not be right. You want to work with a company that values its interns and will treat you well.
6. Make the most of your internship experience.
To get the most out of your MBA internship, approach the experience as a combination of learning and professional development opportunities. If you impress the company enough, they might offer you a job. And even if they don’t, the contacts you make might come in handy later.
Also, be sure to balance the internship with your studies, which is an equally important learning experience. You need to devote enough time and energy to these two priorities.
Are MBA interns paid?
Occasionally. In some of the highest paying consulting and financial services internships, they can earn between $ 10,000 and $ 20,000 per month. However, other internships are unpaid or pay very little.
Which internship is best suited for MBA students?
There is no “best” type of internship for MBA students. The internship that’s right for you will match your career goals, your work culture, and your expectations of how you want to be treated.
Can I do an MBA without an internship?
Not all MBA programs require students to complete an internship. However, an internship adds a strong component of practical experience to any MBA program that you should not pass up!
This article has been reviewed by Krystal Covington, MBA
Krystal Covington, MBA, is a business growth strategist with 15 years of experience in marketing and public relations. His company, Go Lead Consulting, provides clients with basic tools for building new relationships with clients.
Covington founded Denver Women, one of the largest private membership organizations in Denver, Colorado. Her program helps women increase their business acumen, hone their leadership skills, and connect with other high-performing women. Covington received his MBA from Western Governors University in 2012.
Krystal Covington is a paid member of the Red Ventures Education Independent Review Network.