My Internship Journey
From the first day that you start the University of Maryland Smith School of Business MBA program, you are told that you have to get a summer internship. The summer internship is a chance for you to get real world experience within your field, as well as a chance to obtain a full time job offer for the following year. Coming back to school your second year with a job offer is a great way to start the school year.
With all of this in the front of my mind, you can imagine how much pressure I felt within my first semester to find an internship. There were several opportunities presented to us to get in front of recruiters and land a summer internship. The first real opportunity was the Black MBA Conference which was held in Philadelphia. This conference came very early in our school year and I have to admit that I completely bombed the conference. I did not get any job offers and I came back to Maryland feeling very discouraged and scared. The conference was held in September and my belief at the time was that if I did not obtain an internship at this conference then my chances of obtaining one was very slim. I was completely wrong in my thinking. I still had plenty of time to get an internship and my experience at the Black MBA Conference was only the starting point in my search.
Between the months of October and December I began applying to any and every internship that I was qualified for. It was hard at first because applications take a very long time to fill out and in my first semester I was really focused on trying to keep up with my classes. But I had to force myself to set aside time every week to apply to jobs. I tried to dedicate at least three hours a week to internship search. My goal was to cast a net as wide as possible in hopes that I would eventually be hired. Our Office of Career Services team provides students with a list of internships that they upload on our jobs site daily. I was utilizing this tool and applying to positions that were not on this site as well. The final thing that I did to enhance my chances of obtaining an internship was through networking.
Despite all of the work that I was doing networking, connecting to people at my desired companies, and applying to jobs through the University of Maryland, I actually obtained my internship by simply applying online. It was a big surprise to me how it all happened. I didn’t have any connections with anyone at this company nor did I reach out to anyone via Linkedin. I was simply given a chance to interview and went through all three rounds with success.
I was offered my internship two days after the second semester started. It was a big relief to have been offered a position that early in the semester and it really allowed me to shift my focus fully back to school. Receiving that offer letter felt like a big weight lifted off of my shoulders and after the fact, it made me realize that it wasn’t as hard as I thought it was going to be. I had plenty of support from my career coach, my friends, and my network, and if I had to give any advice to the incoming class I would tell them don’t stress out over the search and don’t give up!