An MBA can be highly demanding as the coursework can get hectic, exams can be strenuous, and trying to combine an education with a personal life can sometimes take its toll, hardly leaving the vigour or time to pursue an MBA internship.
However, as troublesome as engaging in an MBA may be, the results are often highly rewarding. That is exactly why you should never let go of the chance to gain more from your MBA; and the best way to do this is by pursuing an internship.
Getting valuable experience in the job world before you graduate from your MBA can be highly beneficial in obtaining a prestige position as soon as possible. Moreover, the experience and insight gives you an unrivalled advantage over those who simply have textual knowledge and no hands-on experience.
Read on to discover what an MBA internship is, how to find an internship opportunity, the requirements for obtaining an internship, the benefits of the internship, and how to make the most out of your internship.
What is an MBA internship?
This is a position in a company related to your field of study, for a specified period of time, in order for you to gain actual job experience before the completion of your degree. The length of the internship can vary, with some shorter than others. For example, some are for a period of one month, while others last three months. The longest duration for an internship is usually six months as they are not permanent positions, but are temporary openings to allow inexperienced students to gain job experience.
Internships may be obligatory in some MBA programmes and specific universities as they are part of the course. However, internships are not an obligatory part of the curriculum and course structure taught in every university. The situation varies from university to university.
How to find an MBA internship
There are various ways to find an appropriate internship and, as mentioned before, if the internship is part of your course, your university will assign you one or help you find one that suits your course content. Otherwise, students who want to pursue an internship of their own accord can also get help from the university’s career portal and/or career counsellor regarding opportunities.
Job portals and other websites promoting jobs for students may also post information regarding internship opportunities. Friends, relatives and professors are excellent sources of information for available openings for MBA internships while newspapers and magazines can also become your best friend during the internship hunt.
Last but not least, walking through town and slipping into the offices of renowned organisations to drop off your CV or enquire about an internship opening may not be completely futile. So, head out and begin the hunt!
Requirements of an MBA internship
They are usually available near the end of your degree and that is usually the best time to pursue them, as some internships may lead to fully-fledged job opportunities. Hence, the best time to pursue an internship is within the last six months of a two-year MBA programme or within the last three months of a one-year programme.
The requirements for an internship are not highly demanding although students usually have to maintain an appropriate GPA, have the appropriate skills for the required position, and sometimes have to pass a test and interview process to be selected for specific organisations and roles. Renowned companies such as Johnson & Johnson and Nestle, to name a couple, usually visit universities and schedule a testing procedure for interested candidates for their internship programme.
Benefits of an internship
First of all, an internship decreases the mundaneness of the course content and allows you to gain hands-on experience of the job world before you graduate. This also gives you a competitive edge when applying for jobs after your MBA as you already have some job experience to show.
Additionally, some internships lead to fully-fledged job opportunities if students perform well during it. Hence, it is the perfect way to land a job before you graduate!
Make the most of your internship
Making the most of your internship is essential. Therefore, make sure you are working in the department of your choice and you get a substantial opportunity to work, or at least watch others work, in different departments. Observe and take notes of your experience while also expanding your social circle and making contacts for your network.
Ensure you perform at your best and do not take the internship lightly. If you do not get a job offer immediately, they are likely to remember your name and face for future openings or they can always put in a good word for you elsewhere. Hence, make sure you leave a good impression!