Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Internship Search Thickens

We’re just four weeks away from the first year of one of the top masters of business administration programs in the world – and I am one of the less than 30% of first-year MBAs without an internship. The fight is not over though and my army is strong.
An MBA School that's a top two year MBA Program is not without its tools to get you an internship – in fact, they’re some of the best tools on the market. The Graduate Career Services office fully functions just to assist students in finding internships and jobs, and they are good at it – REALLY good. With a full staff that hunts job boards around the world, calls corporate recruiters in all corners of the globe and tirelessly brings Fortune 500 recruiters to campus and connects students with alumni – they do an amazing, around the clock job. But they’re not the full fight – the students have to put in a great deal of effort too.
There’s Me Inc., which took place during the summer prior to arrival and during the first couple weeks – an intensive program where you refine your resume, interview skills, telling your story and really preparing you for the full-frontal assault of recruiting. It brands you with your best qualities – and helps you carry the Kelley brand as well. On top of that, students can reach out in their own personal networks to friends, family, past-coworkers or bosses, or go on their own job-hunt making phone calls, emails and application submissions. Lastly, there are countless workshops put on by GCS and by the MBAA to help refine your skills and help you search – there’s even a peer buddy system to give people the best chance they can have.
I’m a tough bug though – my focus is on international tourism, travel or entertainment in a marketing capacity (I guess you can say I'm working on my MBA for Non Business Majors from undergrad) – and not many of those kinds of places come to campuses to recruit – so most of my search has been off campus. I have had a few interviews on campus, thanks through GCS and their incredible GTS website – which allows students to create profiles and recruiters to drop opportunities and meet digitally first, then in person. I was fortunate enough to have two internship opportunities; however, neither fulfilled both industry and job role hope – and so I took the terrifying, and lesser traveled road, of rejecting both without another offer. It was a really scary step, but deep down I felt it was the right move. With four weeks left, five big names remain on the table and all I can do is hope.
With my off campus search, in total I made 86 unique contacts; and each of those contacts I had an average of three interactions with. Each one has its own long story, and while some trickled off and fizzled to nothing, five incredible companies have boiled to the top as prospects for the summer. No offers yet, but I’m to final-round interview periods in four of the five, and I’m confident at least one will happen. Keep your fingers crossed and dream big – this could be a summer for the books.

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