I know you must be full with graphic images about an investment banking or consulting intern bonding with blondes at his MBA internship. Well, some of my classmates may be, but I want to talk about some other BLONDES here. Read on…
1. Big picture: I realized that as I tried to find internships, some of them advised “internship open only for Singapore PR/Citizens”. The fair consideration frameworm has affected the hiring cycle which in turn has dominoed to MBA internships.
Bottom Line: BIG PICTURE is important as it can affect the availability and quality of your internship. Do not forget the macro changes happening in the industry, in the economy and also in policies for skilled labor.
2. Love: As I thought about what to do in my internship, I was made to think about what was it that I really LOVED to do in life. I am a people’s person, so I thought I need to do something with people. A Healthcare Strategy internship came up and I didn’t even apply to the banking or consulting internships.
Bottom Line: LOVE is really essential. Love the work you do, love the people you work with and be ready to help. Love yourself and make sure you get the best.
3. Options: As the first short term internship worked out, I was overjoyed and got lax in finding next ones. Applied to 2 others and both never worked out. So there was a time when I was staring at 3 months of summer WITHOUT ANY INTERNSHIP!
Bottom Line: OPTIONS have to be present – at least 3 of them – in addition to your plan A. Diversification, risk-hedging, dividing your eggs in many baskets, whatever you call it, it’s important.
4. Network: The more people I met and the more friends I made, I realized there were people eager to help as soon as I updated my Linkedin profile to “Looking for Opportunity”!
Bottom Line: NETWORK, NETWORK and NETWORK! (cliche, but true)
5. Define your niche: “What will you bring to the table”? The hiring manager asked one of the behavioral questions during one of my desperate attempts to get into a bank. What would you bring?
Bottom Line: DEFINE who you are, what are your strengths and why should someone hire you. Be ready with your answer. In my case, it is “A Japanese Speaking MBA with more than 9 years experience in Business Development”.
6. Effort: So now you have landed in the internship! You jump in the air, update your Facebook/Whatsapp, go clubbing the weekend. What next? Remember, you can win battles, but still lose a war.
Bottom Line: EFFORT even after securing an internship matters. Converting an internship into a job offer maybe the best thing you can do to yourself during your MBA summer.
7. Start early: In all this, I should say I have been one of the late-bloomers in my cohort. Some of my classmates have been really ahead of all others, making contacts and discussing internships really early in the first semester. Of course that is not the only way to go about it.
Bottom Line: STARTING EARLY never does any harm. Even when you are taking a holiday and getting your mind off the MBA $hit, you may still want to think about your life early.
Hope you enjoyed the time with the BLONDES. I don’t want to preach anything here, rather want to learn and do help me learn by adding your opinions in the comments.