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 an intern this coming summer.
In my opinion, there isn’t a 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.
8 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
Good leaders not only have creative ideas; they 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, co-workers, and your boss. Commend others for work well done.
- Showing commitment
Show 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 co-workers, administrative assistants, and managers. Effective communicators appreciate differences and learn how best to motivate and inspire a diverse workgroup.
- Asking questions
When you don’t know how to do something, 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 a phone at work, say your name and department. When you leave a phone message, speak clearly, and again, say your name, department and phone number.
If you are working in the company, rather than remotely, dress similarly to the full-time staff. Omit the perfume or cologne to avoid offending someone with fragrance sensitivities.
- Precision, carefulness, attention to detail
Double-check your emails to eliminate all typos and use a spelling and grammar tool.
Smile! Display your positive attitude with body language and energy.
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 to other upcoming opportunities (fall semester job interviews). Companies will often pressure you to respond right away, but there is nothing wrong with using your negotiation skills and informing them 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.
In her 30 years of career and admissions experience while serving as the former Director of Cornell University Career Services and Cornell Johnson’s Career Management Center and as a Career Coach at Cornell’s College of Engineering, Dr. Karin Ash has facilitated students’ entry into the world’s best companies. As a member of the adcom, she also evaluated applications. She knows what schools and employers seek. And she can help you present it. Want Karin to help you get Accepted? Click here to get in touch!