Leveraging the MBA Summer Internship for Career Success
If you are beginning your second year of the MBA program, welcome back! Many of you have just wrapped up a summer internship, while some may continue to work part-time, others have already received a full-time offer (congrats!), and many have had their experiences come to a close. So what next and how can you make the most out of your second year? Here are some tips on how to leverage your recent summer internship for post-MBA employment:
- Update your Personal Branding: Now that you have gained some MBA-level work experience, it’s time to refresh your LinkedIn profile, resume, and elevator pitch. What skills did you gain over the summer that will help you on your journey to post-grad employment? For example, if you’re aiming for a career in product management, did you get to work on UX Design, A/B Testing, Consumer Insights, or cultivate any other relevant competencies? Think deeply about what you learned from this experience and how you added value to your internship. Remember the skills you showcase should be relevant to the job you’re hoping to land at graduation and also remember to meet with your CCD adviser for guidance on this!
- Stay in Touch with Co-Workers: During your summer experience you gained an invaluable learning opportunity and, at the same time, expanded your professional network. Don’t lose those connections you made! Circle back to your manager and colleagues and schedule a few times to meet up throughout the fall semester, if possible. Show them how what you’ve learned from the internship has impacted your second year MBA strategy (are you taking certain electives based on the work you did with them?). Talk about your career plans and get their feedback. Often times these conversations lead to introductions to more people.
- Contact your Network: Remember all those people you networked with during your first year? Alumni, guest speakers in class, your DLP from the MTYOO course? What were some pieces of advice you received from these folks that made a lasting impression? Why start networking from scratch? Circle back with the people you met during your first year and update them on the incredible work experience you just had! Tell those who provided sound advice how they helped you land the internship (be specific), and update them on your objectives for post-MBA. If you talk about what you’re hoping to accomplish, and thank the people who helped get you from A to B, they may feel more compelled to continue the conversation. Think about creating a personalized “newsletter” to send to your network which includes details about your summer internship. Work with your CCD adviser on this to make sure you’re heading in the right direction. Sometimes a simple update to your network can lead to a part-time academic year internship.
- Set your Academic Agenda: This is your final year in the MBA program! Soon enough you will be receiving your degree. What critical skills do you still feel you need to develop before you graduate? Think clearly about this and choose your electives wisely. More MBA-level experience through a MCFE is highly recommended (please follow the Babson protocol when showcasing experiential learning on your resume). The MCFE is a great talking point during any interview and is seen as real-life, MBA-level work experience.
- Seek Career Coaching: Finally, don’t forget to utilize CCD as early and as often as you can. CCD provides a number of resources that can help you with your career plan including one-on-one personalized coaching, mock interviews with experts from the field, corporate events and treks, career education workshops, offer negotiations, and much more. If you have had a conversation with your internship employer about full-time roles, CCD can help you with your negotiation strategy.
Although your second year schedule may look less structured than the first, much of your free time should be focused on your job search strategy. Follow these steps carefully and consistently and you’ll be on your way to success. We look forward to seeing you back on campus!