Let me first answer this question, what is a summer internship in an MBA?
Now, if you are reading this blog, you most likely already know this - but just to put things into perspective, let me take you through it.
A summer internship is a program in which you would work and learn from a professional organization or corporation for around 8 weeks. It'll provide you with a chance to get real-life work experience in a particular field.
A summer internship for MBA students often includes a chance to network with professionals in the field, and in many cases, an introduction to a broad range of useful skills.
It prepares you for the job and life after graduation and can be a powerful journey in a graduate's career which is why a summer internship is important in MBA.
If you were to ask me to define it in the shortest way possible, here are the things I would say. A summer internship is:
- your screentest for the actual job selection
- your VISA application process to land that job
- a trailer of what working at that company is like
Having said that, let me take you through why is summer important in MBA.
Why is an internship important for management students?
A summer internship is an excellent experience for management students. It allows you to apply what you have been learning, test your theories, and refine your professional and social skills in a real-world setting.
It will help you stand out from other applicants. An internship provides a great professional and social experience. The ability to manage others and to work effectively with a team cannot be learned in any other way.
It is a significant reason why a summer internship is important in an MBA.
In the following points, I'll take you through why an internship is necessary for an MBA student.
1. You learn how to network
Networking is one of the most important soft skills that you can have. You need to learn how to network to be successful in the professional world. You have to go out there and make good contacts.
Now, this might come across as really generic advice to you. Everyone who is telling you about MBA does tell you about networking.
And here’s why networking is talked about so much. Take these two cases for example
1. If you are a professional working at a company right after your MBA, then here’s what it is.
For you to rise up the corporate ladder, you have got to do great work which mostly comes from you hard skills.
But you also need to develop your influence and good interpersonal relationships. This is what comes from how meaningfully you can network with others.
2. If you are a self-employed person like me who is pursuing his entrepreneurial ambitions after MBA then networking becomes even more important.
Networking helps you get clients, it helps you get all the work-related opportunities that help you grow your personal brand and get business for the brand you are building.
In fact, check out this article to learn more about how to network efficiently as an MBA student.
A summer internship for MBA students is an excellent way to network, in addition to providing practical experience.
The people and contacts that you will meet, the work that you will do, and the knowledge that you will acquire will all contribute to the development of a particularly large and valuable network.
Hence, to answer questions like “why summer internship is important in an MBA?”, I must say that it's not just important, it is essential for your own development as a professional.
2. You learn how things are done in the real world.
The reason why a summer internship is important for management students is that it allows you to acquire the skills that you need for your future career.
An internship is a unique experience, and as such, it is incomparable to a class, a set of exercises, or a set of readings.
You will have the opportunity to work with individuals in the fields that are beyond what you would have had access to without the internship. That is why a summer internship is important for an MBA.
In the workplace, certain activities must be performed in a particular way. These practices are called industry norms.
In the workplace, you have to play by the rules. One of the best ways to prepare for the working world is by gaining experience in the summer internship in MBA.
On-the-job training allows you to learn new skills while performing your duties. Without the experience, no amount of schooling is going to teach you very much. The best way to learn things is by doing.
It is a fact that the best way to learn any skill is by applying it (internships and freelancing assignments).
But you must know the fundamentals of that skill, which is why the B-school is important.
And when I am saying B-school is important for you to learn that skill, I am talking about, both, in-class and outside the classroom experiences.
3. The internship can be converted into a full-time job
Management students are required to work as an intern once they are done with the 1st year of their course, after completing 8 weeks they have the opportunity to get a full-time position with the same organization.
Depending on the quality of work that is done by you, and the supervision and assistance that is provided, an internship can lead to a full-time position.
In any case, the organization that you are working for will almost certainly appreciate your work and experience, and will be willing to provide assistance or advice should you need it.
In fact, let me tell you this. For a lot of top organizations that you may be aspiring for, summer internships are the only route through which they hire for mid-level management positions.
They do this by taking you through a carefully crafted internship program.
Then if you get a full-time job there, you are again taken through a well-designed one-year-long accelerated management program that takes you through the various nuances of management.
Your internship hence becomes an on-the-job test for you to show your potential at.
As such, an internship, while it cannot guarantee employment, provides the possibility of future employment making it the most important factor in determining why a summer internship is important in an MBA.
4. The internship will provide you with valuable feedback
A summer internship for MBA students is a place where you can receive feedback and advice on your work and behavior.
Feedback and advice can be provided by the people involved in the work that you are doing and/or by your immediate supervisor.
Don't miss the opportunity to receive feedback and advice!
Furthermore, a recommendation for a student is often seen as an endorsement for the internship. Students are encouraged to write about their internship on their resumes and in their "personal statements".
The more extensive and positive the feedback, the greater the chance of being hired.
Here's a question for you, do you ever visit somebody's LinkedIn profile and almost always go through the recommendations that they have received?
Is it true that the higher the recommender stands on the corporate ladder the better the impression it puts upon you?
Well, it's human psychology, we tend to trust other people's opinions about a person more than what's already mentioned by that person on their Resume, LinkedIn profile etc.
During your summer internship, you will have the opportunity to learn and the chance to network with professionals in your field and learn about the real-world applications of what you have been studying.
The experience that you gain from an internship will make you a more well-rounded and talented person.
The knowledge and skills that you learn will serve you well in your future endeavors and you'll understand why a summer internship is important in an MBA.
Therefore, is an internship necessary for MBA students?
It is indeed!
In a nutshell, an MBA internship could be one of the most valuable experiences you can have during your education and lead you to success in your future endeavors.