While sitting to write my next blog about my Summer Internship experience, I thought the topic of Internship Search was much more essential to be covered. So, for all those first year MBA students who will begin their search for internship next fall, here are some key factors to keep in mind -
1. Decide the Function and Industry – Some students will be totally clear about the job function they are interested in right from the start of the program and some will still be having doubts about what career path to pursue. For the former, it’s always good to have a focus area but never narrow your options. For the latter, you are not alone, there will be many like you. If you are not sure about the function you would like to focus on, your summer internship search can be more broad. You can treat your summer internship as a trial for the job function you are interested in. But you surely should do some research before hedging your bets on a certain field. I would suggest talking to the career coach, current students and alumni.
2. Make a list of companies - Once you are done sorting the list of functions you are interested in, the next step should be having a list of companies in mind that fall into your focus area and then a list of few other companies that may not be your main focus but are worthy enough to suit your minimum criteria. When I say criteria, I mean it may be the type of function , the type of industry or the nature of the industry that you are looking for.
3. Resume Review - The next most important thing is to have your resume ready and reviewed by your career coach. Make sure you do this sincerely. You can also ask your classmates to help you with the review. One very important thing about getting your resumes reviewed is everyone will have a different opinion and each would be great in it’s own way, but the final decision lies with you. So, make those decisions wisely.
4. LinkedIn Profile – It is as important to update your LinkedIn profile as it is to have your resume updated in the school resume handbook. All the employers tend to look up your public profile on the web and it is good to have a professional picture on your LinkedIn profile. While updating your LinkedIn profile, make sure to ask for recommendations from your managers or supervisors from your previous work place. The recommendations work as a proof for all your hard work.
5. Attend the National MBA conferences - Apart from using the school resources and postings in Hiresmith, I would strongly encourage all the students to book at least 2 business conferences. Yes, you heard me. These conferences are not only a good way of reaching out to companies that do not recruit on campus but it’s also a good way to establish first contact with the companies that come to campus as well (visiting the booths of the companies that recruits on campus shows that you are truly interested in the company).
Preparation for the conferences : -
- Do a lot of mock interviews with your classmates, 2nd years and of course, OCS career coach. If time permits, make sure to practice with different career coaches so that you can come out of your comfort zone that usually sets in when you are practicing with the same person over and over again.
- Make sure to have a list of the companies that are attending the conference and do your homework on the ones that you plan to visit.
- Have your resumes, business cards and elevator pitches ready. Elevator pitch is how would you introduce yourself to someone whom you meet in the elevator and have just those crucial 30 seconds or a minute to talk to. It reflects the idea that it should be possible to deliver the summary of your conversation in the span of an elevator ride.
- Add the event on your linkedin profile and make sure to reach out to the HR recruiting managers from different companies to learn more about the internship opportunities. It is good to touch base with the Alumni who are working in the companies of your interest so as to gain a better understanding of the work culture and the openings inside the company.
Things to do after the conference (within a week) -
- Make sure to reach out to the employers whom you spoke to and make sure to express your continued interest.
- If you had your first round of interview during the conference, make sure to keep yourself prepared and updated for the second round of interview. You don’t want to be caught off guard.
- Don’t loose touch. Keep practicing. It never hurts.
6. Start up Fairs- If you own a business or you want to gain entrepreneurial experience, these start up fairs aid in putting you in touch with some of the great companies in the area. It is also a great place for networking with business people and know more about different innovative ideas.
Apart from all the above pointers, it is essential to understand that job search is like match making and it’s only when you really feel the connection and use your time and devotion, you will see the reciprocation from the other side.
All the best with your search and the whole process!