While some MBA students are working on their tans in tropical locations this winter break, others are searching for that perfect summer internship. One Smith student, however, has already lined up his summer internship and can enjoy the winter break worry free. Jorge Christian is currently vacationing in Puerto Rico but agreed to take some time away from the beach to answer some questions about his internship search.
Blogger: Jorge, where will you be working this summer?
Jorge: In Huron Consulting Group’s Legal Financial Consulting division. The company has not yet assigned me a specific project but said that I would be working in a support role with consulting teams. I hope to learn more about an associate consultant’s day-to-day activities and the firm’s services.
Blogger: You have an impressive resume. You studied accounting as an undergrad at the University of Maryland. You later went to work for Ernst and Young and earned your master’s degree in accounting at Notre Dame. Now you’re back at Maryland for your MBA. With that type of education and experience, you can have your pick of internships. Why did you choose Huron Consulting?
Jorge: I chose Huron for several reasons. First, the numbers are good. Consulting Magazine rated Huron as a top 10 Best Company to work for in 2006, and Huron has been ranked number one on Entrepreneur Magazine’s Hot 100 list for two years in a row. Second, the people are good. Huron emphasizes that employees are the key drivers of the company’s success, and this message comes directly from the CEO. Huron is a mid-size company of about 800 employees, so the CEO’s leadership influences the company and impacts everyone in the firm. Third, Huron is a growing company; there is a lot of potential.
Blogger: It sounds like Huron is a good fit for you. But how did you manage to link up with Huron and promote yourself to the company?
Jorge: Last October I visited the Huron consulting booth at the Career Quest Career Fair at the University of Maryland. Huron specifically targets the University of Maryland for interns, and several Smith alumni work at the firm’s Washington, D.C., office. After the career fair, I went to the D.C. office for some follow-up interviews and also spoke with the Smith student who had interned at Huron last summer. I knew that Huron was where I wanted to be; it was just a matter of making the connection and showing my interest.
Blogger: Your focus paid off. You are one of the first Smith students to find a summer internship. Do you have any advice or suggestions for students still searching for the perfect internship?
Jorge: Finding an internship is time consuming. I attended three career fairs: the National Black MBA Association Career Fair in Atlanta, the National Society of Hispanic MBAs Career Fair in Cincinnati, and the Career Quest Career Fair at the University of Maryland. I approached recruiters at the fairs and saw how they responded to my resume. This experience helped me to evaluate the types of positions to apply for and the experiences in my background to highlight. I realized that to work in the consulting industry, I should leverage my strong financial background and Big 4 public accounting firm experience.
Leveraging previous experience is a must to get good internships. MBAs looking to switch career paths completely should focus their intern search on smaller companies. The internship experience will help career switchers build their resumes and gain relevant experience for the real challenge of finding full-time positions.
I also recommend that students develop contacts, not just to get internships, but also to get full-time positions. I know several second-year students who met recruiters while looking for an internship, and later used those contacts to find a full-time position the following year.
Blogger: Thanks, Jorge, for taking the time to answer these questions. I’m inspired to get back to work on my internship search…just after The Beauty and The Geek marathon ends.
Jorge: No problem! See you end of January.