Congratulations, Round 1 applicants! You’ve earned admission to your dream business school for Fall 2011. Not only have you achieved your goal, but you have the next 6 months to kick back and enjoy yourself. No more stressing about GMAT scores, essays or interviews. You might even be planning to quit your current job this spring so you can relax or travel for a few months before immersing yourself in first-year MBA courses and campus life.
But, just a minute. Put down that frozen margarita. Aren’t you forgetting something? Within the first few weeks of b-school, you’re going to discover a new cause for stress: the summer internship!
If you’re among the majority of future MBAs who view the summer internship as a once-in-a-lifetime chance to explore a new industry or discipline, bolster your resume with a Fortune 100 brand name, and establish yourself for a full-time offer after graduation, then you’ll be facing some fierce competition. Not only will dozens of your classmates been pursuing those same summer opportunities, but you’ll also be fighting for an offer that’s coveted by hundreds of your peers from other top b-schools – many of whom have pre-MBA education or experience stronger than yours.
So, where will you turn for guidance and support when you arrive on campus this fall? Second-year students? Career services? Alumni? All helpful, yes, but insufficient given the time pressures and importance of the outcome.
The good news is that you don’t have to queue up to get access to these sure-to-be overwhelmed resources. And you don’t have to wait until October to get started. You can start now – before you arrive on campus – to gain a competitive advantage over those classmates and peers who want those same opportunities. What are the keys steps?
1. For starters, you need an objective assessment of your professional background – academic and professional – to ensure that you satisfy the basic requirements of your targeted industry and company. And, if you’re among the many future MBAs who don’t know which industry or company they want to pursue for an internship, then now is the time to identify, qualify and prioritize the possibilities.
2. Next, you need an action plan that includes strategies, tactics, and timeline, for doing the essential research, identifying and networking with key influencers, and adding the missing pieces to your resume before the start of MBA classes.
3. Finally, you to formulate and practice asking the right questions for campus career services, corporate recruiters and other professionals who can open the doors that will lead to a great internship. Your time with them will be brief, so every minute has to count. And the first impression you make could make all the difference.
Bottom line: You need to leverage your time over the next few months — before b-school — to maximize your chances for landing the internship that can pave your way to achieving the long-term vision that led you to apply to b-school in the first place.
Some MBA admits have all the knowledge, instincts and resources they need to accomplish this mission on their own. Go for it! However, if you’re among the others who want and need help from career advisory experts who do this for a living, then we invite you to contact The MBA Exchange.
To begin planning and preparing for your summer 2012 internship before you arrive campus in Fall 2011, please request a free, confidential evaluation of your potential. There’s absolutely no cost or obligation. Please introduce yourself to The MBA Exchange today. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.