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How To Prepare For Your MBA Summer Internship

An MBA summer internship is a great opportunity for your professional growth—being well-prepared can alleviate stress and set you up for success

Mon Apr 15 2024

MBA summer internships are a valuable way to gain experience, network, and if you’re lucky, land a job offer after business school. 

The Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) found that 58% of recent graduates who completed an internship landed a job offer by the end, making it the most successful job search method.

MBA internships generally last from eight to 12 weeks and typically start in May or June. If you’re looking to make the most of your internship experience, it’s not too late to start preparing now.

Here are six top tips on how to prepare for your MBA summer internship:

1. Set clear goals for your MBA internship

To maximize the potential of an MBA internship and increase your chances of securing a job offer, it’s important to map out exactly what you want to achieve. 

Consider the skills you want to develop and aspects of the business you’re keen to explore. Are there any questions you would like answered? Are there certain professionals you would like to network with?

Setting clear goals at the outset is key to aligning your internship experience with your career goals.

2. Maintain clear communication with your manager

Starting an MBA internship can come with a lot of admin and preparation. Maintaining regular communication with your manager is key to clarifying expectations of what is expected of you, and ensuring you have a smooth onboarding process. 

This includes inquiring about the technology and tools which will be provided, taking note of the dress code, and gathering any necessary documents you may need to bring on your first day. 

Taking the initiative to ask any necessary questions not only demonstrates your readiness for the role but highlights your enthusiasm even before you begin your summer internship.

3. Research the company before starting an MBA summer internship

Although you may have done your research before your interview, it’s a good idea to brush up on your company knowledge to help you hit the ground running from day one.

Careful research into the company’s core business practices, needs, and values will help you better understand where you fit within the organization, and how you can contribute to company goals. This positions you as a committed intern and an asset to the company, which can increase your chances of landing a full-time role after your MBA summer internship.

4. Stay informed about industry trends

Showcasing your familiarity with the company is essential, but staying up to date with industry knowledge can take you one step further in demonstrating your readiness for your MBA summer internship.

Your MBA studies are paramount to gaining specialized knowledge, but engaging with industry-specific publications and identifying key players in your field can provide you with regular updates on industry changes. It’s worth taking advantage of any in-person conferences and events in your area, where you can network with other professionals and exchange ideas.

5. Brush up on relevant skills

The skills you need for your internship will vary depending on your specific role and industry. While your MBA and professional experience are essential to developing the skills required, it’s a good idea to brush up on any relevant technical skills such as data analysis or digital marketing tools beforehand.

While soft skills are perhaps harder to prepare for, skills such as interpersonal capabilities and effective teamwork are important to keep in mind. Doing so can help you make a conscious effort to demonstrate these core skills throughout your internship.

6. Prepare for your first day as an MBA intern

First impressions matter, so preparing for your first day in advance can help to set you up for a stress-free start.

Taking steps to arrange your travel and accommodation can prevent any last-minute complications, particularly if your internship requires you to relocate. Other things to consider are dress code appropriate attire and planning your commute to ensure you arrive on time. 

By following these six tips, you can proactively prepare for your MBA summer internship, maximize your learning opportunities, and increase your chances of landing a full-time position after your MBA degree.