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Internship prior to matriculation

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Internship prior to matriculation [#permalink] New post 16 May 2008, 19:13
Any current B-school students care to chime in on this? How difficult is it to secure an internship the summer prior to matriculation (i.e. quitting your current job around May, reaching out to employers and trying to spend May-August working in your desired post B-school industry)?.

I would think that this technique is especially useful for those of us who are targeting PE/VC, which has an unstructured recruiting cycle and is also highly selective. I could see this as possibly setting you up well for your summer internship recruiting between 1st and 2nd year.

I know that many of you may say that I should just take the summer off, relax, see the world, etc. etc. I may be able to squeeze in some of that as well (i.e. KWEST or Random Walks), but if I were able to secure the right internship I would likely find that to be a far better use of my time.
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Re: Internship prior to matriculation [#permalink] New post 17 May 2008, 00:14
terp06 wrote:
Any current B-school students care to chime in on this? How difficult is it to secure an internship the summer prior to matriculation (i.e. quitting your current job around May, reaching out to employers and trying to spend May-August working in your desired post B-school industry)?.

I would think that this technique is especially useful for those of us who are targeting PE/VC, which has an unstructured recruiting cycle and is also highly selective. I could see this as possibly setting you up well for your summer internship recruiting between 1st and 2nd year.

I know that many of you may say that I should just take the summer off, relax, see the world, etc. etc. I may be able to squeeze in some of that as well (i.e. KWEST or Random Walks), but if I were able to secure the right internship I would likely find that to be a far better use of my time.


By all means go for it, especially if you are looking to acquire additional experience that may relate to your desired career path. There's absolutely nothing wrong contacting the HR folks and asking about an internship opportunity prior to b-school. The worse they can say is "Sorry, we can't do anything for you at this time."

I wanted to do an internship (and probably could have got one), but I am taking an intensive language course and I figure learning another language would be more important to me than an internship.
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Re: Internship prior to matriculation [#permalink] New post 17 May 2008, 15:42
There are also a lot of summer camps where you get a good look at certain firms. As expected Consulting, IB, CPG, and Gen Mgmt. Some are restricted to under represented minorities, but others are open to all. If your internship thing doesn't work out these are something to think about.
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Re: Internship prior to matriculation [#permalink] New post 18 May 2008, 16:30
As long as the internship is slightly relevant (or even if it's not, it is at least not detrimental to your past experience), I'd say it's a great idea. Network yourself into a position and get that "stamp of approval" in a specific industry or position before going to B-school.

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Re: Internship prior to matriculation [#permalink] New post 18 May 2008, 20:08
If you can do it, do it. I personally didn't even think this was a possibility and didn't invest any time into it, but if you can pull it off, I say power to you.

If nothing else - you might end up with an offer for next summer. I do know some people who managed to go to corporate events or get invited to minority recruiting things at firms like GE or other "industry" jobs - and some walked away with internship offers right then and there. I heard from one guy that pretty much everyone who showed up for a GE ECLP (or is it ELCP I forget, whatever, its their flagship rotational) event over the summer got an opportunity to interview and got an offer.

Short of actually doing an internship before your start your MBA, I can't personally imagine anything more awesome than walking into internship recruiting holding an offer. That would have taken a lot of the pressure off.

As much as I'm an advocate of "taking it easy" before you start school, I wouldn't pass up the opportunity to test out a job or industry. Go for it.
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Re: Internship prior to matriculation [#permalink] New post 18 May 2008, 20:54
i considered doing this, but in the end i didnt want to bother with the added stress.

i think its worthwhile if you can motivate yourself to work after gaining admittance to school.
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Re: Internship prior to matriculation [#permalink] New post 19 May 2008, 06:13
It is good if you can - I have a friend who did PE last summer, who has gone back to the same house for his full summer. It didn't evoke the response from other houses, but it did get him a fair few opportunities in IB that, given his background before, may not have happened.

If it doesn't work out it is hardly the end of the world though. Rhyme is on point about other summer recruitment events. If they are open to you and you can get to them, do. Early strikes on networking are really valuable before the scrums hit off in the fall.
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Re: Internship prior to matriculation [#permalink] New post 19 May 2008, 15:14
I started an internship a month ago at a biotech/pharma. I'm having a great time and learning a bunch about industry (this is my first time working in an office). I'll still have about six weeks to travel after the internship.

The decision about whether to do a pre-MBA internship is a personal one. A lot of people will tell you to take time off to travel and relax, and I wholeheartedly support that. But as I said, I've never worked in an office before. I wanted some experience with numbers and transactions prior to re-entering the classroom. And if I end up gunning for a VC or start-up internship next summer, I'll have something non-medical to put on the resume. The only other person I know who's doing a pre-MBA internship is in a similar situation: just finished a long military stint, spending the summer with a consulting firm.

One piece of advice about looking for pre-MBA internships- leverage your connections. Placing the name of your business school at the top of the education section of your resume is fine and well, but you don't have the advantage of career services and on-campus recruiting/networking. I'd estimate I sent out about 8 or 9 unsolicited CVs/resumes (via web-sites, etc). Didn't get a single call from any of those firms... heck, I didn't even get an email. I was able to send another 5 CVs/resumes to equivalent firms via contacts (i.e., my connection contacts someone in the firm, who emails me asking to send the CV directly to them). Got interviews with 3 of those 5 firms, with offers from all 3.
Re: Internship prior to matriculation   [#permalink] 19 May 2008, 15:14
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