How to Make the Most of Your Internship
As First Year MBAs you are wrapping up your schoolwork and likely getting ready to start a summer internship. Congratulations! Completing the first year of your MBA is no easy feat and we are happy for those who landed internships in their fields of interest. The internship period is an excellent time to leverage the knowledge you’ve acquired from the MBA program so far. It is also a great opportunity for you to develop your skill set, make impact, and build your network. Here is a list of things you can consider doing this summer as you make the most out of of your internship!
- Communication continues to be the most important and sought after skill by employers. The internship experience is an excellent way to develop your communication skills. Through active listening and effective communication you can build relationships, collaborate on teams, ask questions to understand business challenges and then propose solutions based on what you know.
- In conjunction with your manager, make sure that you outline goals for yourself at the start of your assignment. This will enable both your manager and you to measure your progress towards these goals at the end of the assignment. It is recommended that you try to schedule a weekly meeting with your manager.
- Set up a performance evaluation discussion at the middle of and the end of your assignment to solicit feedback from your manager on your areas of strength as well as developmental opportunities. If appropriate, you may decide to ask for more regular feedback throughout the internship as well. This process will help facilitate your learning experience and regular communication may allow you to add even more value to the organization by demonstrating your strengths and developing your skills in real-time.
Build Your Network
- Take advantage of formal and informal networking opportunities. If appropriate, ask to attend meetings, and make a point to introduce yourself to various employees throughout the organization both formally and informally (i.e. in the cafeteria, hallway, or coffee shop). Networking will allow you to learn about the organization from various perspectives and will therefore enhance your ability to contribute in a more strategic capacity.
Convert Internship to Full-Time
- This is the time to work hard and prove yourself as a strong contributor. Be proactive and volunteer to take on assignments out of your scope. This can add more value to your internship and may even land you a full-time role!
- Think about your internship as an opportunity to evaluate a potential fit for employment beyond the internship. Ask yourself some of these questions: Do you like the company culture? Do you enjoy the work you are doing? Are you able to add value to this organization? Is there room for career growth here?
- Think about ways to make a stronger connection between your summer employer and Babson. If you are working in a company where there are several Babson alums, and it seems appropriate, reach out to some of the alums and make the connection. If you are one of the only Babson students to be working at the company, do your best to make Babson proud so the company will recruit from us next summer and you can help develop a Babson College talent pipeline in the organization. Think about other ways that Babson could engage with your employer and vice versa – i.e. Would someone from your company benefit from attending one of our many forums? Would your company be interested in participating in a BCAP or MCFE? Would someone from your company be interested in presenting on a panel or roundtable discussion to help educate current students?
Update your Branding Materials
- Think about the contributions you’re making to the organization and how you can include them on your resume and LinkedIn profile at the conclusion of your internship.
Our office is open throughout the summer and we look forward to hearing from you about your summer experience. If there’s any help you need along the way, do not hesitate to reach out to your advisor. Happy summer and best of luck to the MBA class of 2017.