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Ask a MBA: What Advice Do You Have for Getting a Summer Internship?

January is here, and you know what that means! It’s time to start thinking about summer internships. Ask an MBA is a new monthly series brimming with recommendations from current Forté Fellows on various topics – like how to make the most of your MBA experience, trending MBA courses, and what they wish they’d known before taking the MBA plunge.

This month, Forté Fellows (and one corporate recruiter) offered tips for nailing an essential summer internship.

Be prepared

Attend company events throughout the recruiting process. This will help form the relationships needed to make interviews more comfortable and to understand if the company has a culture that fits your career aspirations.

Also, be well prepared for interviews – practice cases, have thoughtful questions, and know where you want to take your career in the future.

Janelle Meck, Manager of Campus Recruiting, KPMG LLP

Show up (even when you’re tired)

Go to info sessions, coffee chats, networking events and conferences, even when you’re tired. You never know who will (or won’t) show up.

You may be the perkiest and most qualified person there. But you’ll never know if you stayed at home.

Stephanie Hardiman Simon, Indiana University – Bloomington (Kelley School of Business) MBA Class of 2019

Attend a conference (or two)

Choose one or two pre-MBA conferences to attend. I went to the Forté MBA Conference and received an early internship offer. It took a lot of pressure off my first few months of MBA.

I certainly didn’t forgo the career search experience, but the early offer did prevent a lot of unnecessary stress.

Danielle Molyet, University of Notre Dame (Mendoza College of Business) MBA Class of 2019

Visit your career center

Use your career center! If there’s one thing I could do differently, I would have gone in there as a freshman and been in every week until graduating.

They have so many resources and are there to help you land an internship and learn more about yourself.

Casey Brown, University of Southern California (Marshall School of Business) MBA Class of 2019

Consider the company as much as the role

My advice is to get your foot in the door at a company that is aligned to your values. Even if the internship is not your dream job – if a company is aligned to your values, has a great manager, and offers an opportunity to learn – I say go for it.

Most companies will let employees move to different departments if they are in role for a couple years and performing well. Find a company that will be invested in your development and take advantage of any opportunities they offer.

Christina Chavez, University of California – Berkeley (Haas School of Business) MBA Class of 2019

Gain skills you can’t get in a classroom

Look for a role that will teach you important skills that you couldn’t gain in school, like building relationships or time management.

Margaret Fletcher, University of Pennsylvania (The Wharton School) MBA Class of 2019

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