How to Gain a Place on the Most Competitive MBA Internships | TopMBA.com

How to Gain a Place on the Most Competitive MBA Internships

By Niamh O

Updated March 18, 2021 Updated March 18, 2021

Nearly all business school students will undertake an internship in the summer between their first and second year of the MBA program.

The MBA summer internship can have a transformative impact on your career trajectory, which is exactly why the best internship opportunities are so competitive.

Whether you’re hoping to get a place on an internship at Google, Amazon, Goldman Sachs, or Bain & Company, it’s important to prepare to ensure you get the internship you really want.

Let your business school take the lead

A lot of MBA students won’t need to suffer through their internship search alone, as business schools usually take them through the process.

Business schools often facilitate a number of events for recruiters to pitch or head-hunt students. These events provide information about the available internships and how to apply.

In fact, top business schools often have fellowships and standing internship slots reserved for their own students.

Utilize the Career Services at your school

The coronavirus pandemic has changed the way we work and learn – meaning internship styles and formats could still look a little bit different next year.

However, business schools are adapting and are prepared to help you in your internship search for the new working world we have come to know.

Utilize the experience that careers advisors have. There’s nothing to lose by asking the careers staff to help you out wherever needed.

Reach out to alumni

Your business school’s alumni network is a goldmine when it comes to resources. There’ll be no shortage of graduates to reach out to who are working within the industry you want to land a job.

The careers services at your business school will be more than happy to point you in the right direction of its most successful graduates, and many companies will proudly note the prestigious MBA programs their employees have graduated from.

Even if MBA grads from your school aren’t hiring interns, alums are always eager to help out and help you get a foot in the door somewhere.

Take a look at start-ups

Launching a summer internship program isn’t usually at the top of the to-do list for an entrepreneur starting up a brand-new company – use this to your advantage.

Start by getting to know what’s going on in the industry you’re interested in – there’s a strong chance exciting work is happening at companies who haven’t established a presence at business schools yet.

Now, this means getting a job with them will be a bit harder than if you went down the more established route, as you’ll have to sell them on the idea of taking on an MBA student. But, you’ll be able to demonstrate how you stand out in a crowd – a skill that will come in handy further down your career.

Do your homework

Once you’ve done all the groundwork and are offered an interview, you’ll really need to do your homework. If you truly want to land an internship at a company, you should know it from back to front before you sit down to interview.

Take a look at the financials, know who the major competitors are – and most importantly, don't go in with questions you could have easily answered through Google.

Your MBA internship may seem like a lifetime away right now, but you’ll thank yourself for getting a jump on the process and preparing sooner rather than later.

This article was originally published in November 2020 . It was last updated in March 2021

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Written by

Niamh is Deputy Head of Content at QS (TopMBA.com; topuniversities.com), creating and editing content for an international student audience. Having gained her journalism qualification at the Press Association, London and since written for different international publications, she's now enjoying telling the stories of students, alumni, faculty, entrepreneurs and organizations from across the globe.  

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