What to Look for in Your MBA Internship

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For the majority of MBA students, the summer between the first and second year of graduate school is an integral part of the learning experience, since it is also prime time for internships. Choosing your MBA internship is one of the most exciting parts or your overall graduate program experience, as your internship will help to bridge the gap between the classroom and work environment. Internships also provide opportunities for professional growth, networking and, of course, resume-building.

Deciding which specific internship is best for you will depend on your individual aspirations, but you’ll definitely want to look for an internship with these 5 components:

1. It’s Related to Your Future Career

The first thing you’ll want to consider when deciding which internship opportunity to pursue is how it will fit into your professional plans. Look for an internship that will have you doing work that is relevant to your future career aspirations. This will allow you to develop the skills and knowledge you’ll need for a full-time job after graduation, and also allow you to take examples of your work with you to interviews for full-time jobs.

By taking an internship that is very relevant to your career goals, you’ll also be able to showcase your abilities and what you’re learning in your MBA program to the company you’re interning at, which could increase your chances of getting a future full-time job offer at the company.

2. The Company Seeks to Develop Future Talent

Companies hire interns for a variety of reasons. Knowing a company’s motivation for hiring an intern can give you insight into what can be expected from the experience and whether or not it will align with your career goals.

While some companies are just looking to fill current staffing needs, others are looking to hire someone they can develop to fit a future full-time role. Not only will you learn more during your internship if the company is serious about developing your talent for the future, but you’re also more likely to turn the internship into a career.

3. There’s an Opportunity to Have a Mentor

It’s also important to think about how the people you’ll be working with regularly during your internship fit into the company structure. With many companies, MBA interns have access to senior staff members and mentors, which can be a great way to get exposure to key decision makers within the company.

As with any job, the relationship with your direct manager will greatly shape your overall internship experience. It’s a huge plus if your internship comes with a manager who is interested in helping you grow your career. Look for a position that could provide you with a mentor, not just a boss.

4. Location of the Company is a Fit

You’ll most likely be looking for an internship close to where your MBA program is. However, if you’re looking for a summer internship while you’re off from classes, it’s a good idea to look for an internship in the same area that you’ll be looking for a full-time job in the event you end up with an offer at the end of your internship.

5. The Organization is Respected in Your Industry

Look for companies that have proven to be leaders in the industry you work in or are looking to transition into. Additionally, it’s ideal if the company is highly respected on a whole, outside of its specific industry, and has established a solid brand. Having a well-known, trusted company name on your resume will only help you in the long run.

Because of the importance an internship holds, take time to do your research in advance so you’ll have the option to choose the opportunity that most aligns with your career goals. As you go through the process, use the above points to help you narrow down your choices and significantly increase your chances of landing an internship that’s ideal for you.

Are you a prospective MBA student who’s interested in learning more about the TCU Neeley MBA program? Contact us today to find out more about the program and to start the application process.

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