The Path to a Happy First-Year in Business School (Part III)
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:
- Attending information sessions or cocktail parties held by recruiters. These are great opportunities to establish informal contacts.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
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