One sure way to give your job prospects a boost is to do an internship. Whether you are starting a new career or steering your career in a new direction, an internship offers an opportunity to broaden your real-world work experience, explore a different industry, try on a new job role, enhance your business skills and knowledge, and focus your career goals.
Here are a few reasons why you should make an internship part of your job-hunting or career-development strategy – before completing your graduate business program.
You have mere seconds to get the attention of a recruiter in person or through your resume/CV. Hiring managers want to see not just your MBA or master’s degree, but what types of industry expertise and skills you can bring to a job. Most corporate recruiters look at the following when selecting the MBA candidates they will interview:
- Prior experience in a job function (66% of companies),
- Industry experience (51%), and
- Years of work experience (44%).
Work experience, whether gained prior to your degree or through an internship during school, can be your key to landing a job after business school. Keep in mind, 3 out of 4 employers we surveyed plan to offer internships in 2013 to graduate business students, and companies use those internships as part of their recruiting tactics.
Edge Out the Competition
In 2012, employers reported that 69% of their MBA interns who applied for a full-time job received an offer. MBA grads who interned in the consulting or finance/accounting sectors had even better chances for job conversion with 74% and 73% of MBA interns landing full-time employment offers, respectively.
Boost Your Starting Salary
Post-degree earnings for class of 2012 b-school graduates who completed an internship while in school were 28% higher, on average, than starting salaries for their peers without internships. Similarly, the income boost for grads with offers of employment directly from an internship was more than double the salary increase of other grads who stayed with their original employers during and after business school.
Polish Your Skills
Employers want candidates who have industry experience and solid leadership, managerial, technical, and analytical skills. An internship can provide you with the tactical, hands-on operational understanding of how a business runs and a chance to demonstrate the skills that employers seek in job candidates. To learn more, explore mba.com and discover what employers seek in new MBA hires.
Find Your Niche
Internships can take you places you never imagined. One US alumnus from the class of 2011 who attended school in and currently works in the United States recounts: “The main takeaway from my MBA was opening me to more options for a career and through my internship I found something I am interested and passionate about. I am currently working in the industry of international trade and working towards consulting, which is what I really want to do as my career.”
Hear From B-School Alums About Their Internships
Take steps now to visit your career services office and find out more about available internship openings. Hear more about what b-school students and recent b-school alumni have to say about their internship experiences.