This post is aimed at college sophomores and juniors who are thinking about earning an MBA in the future and who will be working as interns this coming summer.
In my opinion, there is no better way to test out your career interests than by working in your intended field for a few months. From a company’s perspective, it is the most effective way to determine your leadership potential.
If you are serious about pursuing an MBA in the future, it is important to note that many companies that hire MBAs value quantitative and analytical skills. During your internship, volunteer for assignments that will allow you to gain experience in quantitative analysis.
Nine skills to boost during your internship
What are additional skills employers seek, and what can you do to earn that full-time job offer upon completion of your internship?
Ability to execute
Not only do good leaders have creative ideas, but they also know how to execute and transform those ideas into action. Accept every assignment with a positive attitude, and work hard to produce the best results. If you find yourself with extra time, ask for an assignment, or make a suggestion for work you can do that fills a gap.
The most effective leaders help others to shine. Offer assistance to fellow interns, coworkers, and your boss. Commend others for work well done.
Demonstrate your commitment to your work and the company by arriving early, staying late if there is work to be done, and most importantly, completing your projects with creativity, thoroughness, and excellence.
Make the effort to be social and communicate with your coworkers, administrative assistants, and managers. Effective communicators appreciate differences and learn how best to motivate and inspire a diverse workgroup.
When you don’t know how to do something or understand what is expected of you, ask for clarification. It’s important to be able to work independently, but sometimes you need more information before you can move forward.
When you answer the phone at work, start by stating your name and department. When you leave a phone message, speak clearly, and again, state your name, department, and phone number
If you are working in the company’s offices, rather than remotely, dress similarly to the full-time staff. Refrain from wearing perfume or cologne to avoid offending someone with fragrance sensitivities.
Precision, carefulness, and attention to detail
Double-check your emails to eliminate all typos, and use a spelling and grammar tool.
Smile! Display your positive attitude through your body language and energy.
When you apply to graduate schools, you will be competing against other excellent candidates who often have similar college grades, GMAT scores, and experience. One way to stand out is to demonstrate your ability to think creatively. How do you approach challenges and solve problems? During your internship, look for ways to differentiate yourself through innovative ideas.
Pay attention to timing
If you receive a full-time job offer from your internship employer, ask for the time you need to compare your offer with other upcoming opportunities (fall semester job interviews). Companies often pressure interns to respond to job offers right away, but there is nothing wrong with using your negotiation skills and informing the firm of a date by which you will respond. Many career management centers have policies in place, including offer decision deadlines, with which companies are asked to comply.
Securing an impressive internship is just one step – but an important one! – of putting together a competitive MBA application. It’s never too early to begin planning and strategizing! Accepted’s advisors are ready to guide you through the process of creating a winning b-school strategy. Explore our services for more information on how we can help you get ACCEPTED.
With 30 years of career/admissions experience at four universities, including Cornell’s Johnson Graduate School of Business and College of Engineering, Dr. Karin Ash has met with thousands of recruiters seeking to hire the best students from leading schools. She has served as a member of the admissions committee, ensuring that the applicants who ultimately enroll are a good fit for the program and prime candidates for employers. Karin has been a Consultant with Accepted for 8 years and has facilitated students’ entry into top engineering, data science, MBA, and other STEM graduate MEng, MS, and PhD programs. Her clients have been accepted into MIT, the University of Chicago, Harvard, Stanford, Columbia, UPenn, and USC. Want Karin to help you get Accepted? Click here to get in touch!