3: Finding an Ideal Summer Internship
Internship recruitment begins early. As soon as you arrive on campus in September, even August, you will begin the process of finding a summer internship. You will want to find an internship that matches your interests, opens doors, or provides a taste of a corporate culture that you are interested in experiencing or joining. The internship may or may not relate precisely to your future work, but will provide you with exposure to a culture, a style, and a system. For many, summer internships turn into full time positions after the first year, so you will want to do your homework.
Most first-year business school students find an internship, though the process is still quite competitive. For some people, the difficulty of the process comes not in finding one, but in finding the right one for them. For some, they are looking for industry experience. For others, who are seeking to reenter an industry in which they already have experience, they may be particularly interested in targeting a particular company. For others with less experience, they may want to learn about several industries before selecting a direction. So devote adequate time to:
o Attending information sessions or cocktail parties held by recruiters. These are great opportunities to establish informal contacts.
o Network with other contacts (outside of business school). These sometimes work out well for first-year students. So remember that business school is not the only way by which to find a position.
o Learn about industries. Such research will assist you in gauging your own interest as well as allow you to come across as possessing genuine and informed knowledge when you do approach recruiters.
o Learn about individual companies. Companies want to know that you are interested in and knowledgeable about their work. Do your homework and learn potentially through informal on campus events as much as you can.
o Prepare for case interviews and general interview sessions. Be able to explain yourself and why you are interested in a field, industry, and company, in addition to showing a developing understanding of the work of the company. Also be practiced at answering the problem-solving questions that you may be asked to solve as a portion of the interview process.
o Seek guidance during the process from your school’s career staff.
Following the above plan will help you to adjust and excel in your first-year. You won’t get too bogged down worrying about an internship in May, nor will you be consulting math tutors throughout the year for assistance on problem sets, and you’ll be engaged in courses and activities that interest you and are a good use of your time. But also remember:
Don’t finish work on Friday and show up at business school orientation on Monday. A summer break to settle in, to relax and rest, or even lay on the beach makes a difference in preparedness for your first-year of business school too!
2: Selection of Courses and Activities
Determining where and how you will spend your time is also a key to an enjoyable year. Though some schools have core curricula or limited course options at the beginning, when selecting professors and out of classroom activities it helps to develop some knowledge before classes begin as to what is likely to be an engaging path for you. In addition, you will most likely want to form a study group to work on homework and prepare for tests.
o Try to find a second year student who will
o Be prepared to network. This is something to consider in the classroom, in forming your study group, and in selecting activities. Business school is in part a way to meet people who in the future will be in positions of power in the business world. So you will want to get to know your classmates, but as with getting to know people in most contexts, you will be most successful if your interactions are honest ones, if others do not get from you the sense that you are talking with them just to in the future contact them for a job. Also avoid being too dominant in the classroom. Though your professor may be impressed, your classmates may find such dominance less appealing. If networking doesn’t come easy, allow yourself to learn and accustom yourself to your new surroundings slowly and develop friendships naturally through the parties, lunches, and classes you will participate as business school begins.
It’s a new year. There’s lots of opportunity to break out of the old boundaries and expand your circle of influence. Tips to Create Instant Chemistry
- Put yourself in the other person’s shoes and try to see things from their perspective
- Adopt a “What can I do for you?” mindset
- Be positive and enthusiastic
- Make them feel good about themselves
Networking with Phone CallsBy improving your telephone efficiency, you can turn phone calls into networking opportunities. Simply treat business calls as if they were meetings. Set at least one clear and specific objective and list the steps to achieving it. Before you make the call, write down your main goal and key points you want to cover.Also, schedule your calls together. Making all your calls in a row will make you more productive. Most of us lose efficiency when flipping back and forth from one task to another. Some calls, of course, may have to be made separately, such as if they involve different time zones.Practice Makes Perfect Start by calling the “least important” person. By the time you get to your most important calls, you’ll be pitch-perfect.Decide ahead of time whether you prefer to give a message, go to voice mail, or call back later
- If you leave a message, it must reflect confidence, clarity, and credibility
- Give your phone number twice, and repeat it slowly and distinctly so the recipient has a chance of getting it right without having to replay the message
- When you are connected with the person, always ask “Is this a good time for you?”
- If the person say they are busy, ask when would be a good time to schedule a call. Give them a choice of yeses (Monday or Tuesday?) rather than a yes or no choice (Are you free Monday?)
In ConversationOnce you are on the phone with the other person, listen to what they’re saying and to what’s going on in the background. If you hear the other line ring, ask them if they need to answer it, and assure them it’s all right with you.Paraphrase and make sure you understand what the other is saying throughout the conversation to ensure efficiency. Take a few seconds to recap whatever has been agree upon. This simple trick can save you from many misunderstandings.Answering Calls Greet callers courteously and identify yourself and your organization.To make caller feel special:
- Answer the call unemotionally and professionally
- As soon as the callers have identified themselves, let a smile flood your face and warmth pour out of your voice. If the caller is a complete stranger, just direct your enthusiasm to the subject of their call instead
Looking forward to all the connections in 2008!
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