Angelyne Pagaspas, Full-time MBA Class of 2016 is currently undertaking an eight-week internship. In this article, Angelyne shares her experiences of searching for and securing an MBA internship.
The moment I knew that undertaking an internship was one of the options for the summer term of the MBA programme at Manchester Business School, I told myself that securing one would be one of my end goals. Equipped with a healthy dose of optimism, it was only later on that I realised it was easier said than done. As such, here are a few of my learnings after going through the process:
1. Don’t wait for the last day
Although internship adverts have deadlines, I found that it is best to avoid submitting your CV on the last day possible. More often than not, I failed to be invited for an interview whenever I submitted close to the deadline because the recruiters would normally have already shortlisted potential candidates as early as they can.
2. Have a strategy and focus
Applying for an internship requires sufficient preparation. As much as I would have wanted to apply for every opportunity I come across to increase my chances, there is simply not enough time and the quality of application tends to diminish. I found that it is more effective to choose a select few and then tailor your applications based on the requirements.
3. Know what you want, but be open to exploring
Undertaking an internship is a good time to step out of one’s comfort zone. It can be a chance to expose yourself to a new industry or to a completely different type of work. At first, I was only applying to what was familiar to me but as one of my classmates made me realise, I should be more open to exploring things that I might not have considered before. After all, there is no harm in trying.
4. Anticipate possible questions and prepare answers
Having plenty of experience is not enough to secure an internship offer. You need to show your competence through specific examples. I realised that it is essential, when preparing for interviews, to reflect on past experiences and the actions that I took in certain situations. By getting ready for possible questions in advance, I felt more confident and at ease during interviews.
5. Learn the art of time management
For me, searching for internships did not mean that the world stopped revolving. There were still classes to be attended, group projects to be done, and other commitments to be honoured. Although it was very challenging, I felt that to make the most out of the MBA programme, I had to avoid foregoing one for the other. Although there were times that missing a class or a group meeting was unavoidable, I tried my best to make up for it or to ensure that I provide the required deliverables within the agreed timeline.
6. Go beyond what is expected
I managed to secure an internship that involved conducting a market study because I believe I went beyond what was expected of me. Although it was not required, I decided to prepare a project proposal which detailed the objectives, methodology, work output expected and timeline. I presented this during the interview and gained positive feedback from my interviewers.
Indeed, hunting for an internship was a learning experience in itself and it contributed to my personal development.
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