There was quite a bit of pressure during the first quarter to start the internship search, but that was nothing compared to the pressure that builds up in winter quarter! You hear “How’s your internship search going?” multiple times a day. Fisher has a strong Office of Career Management with people who are extremely willing to do everything they can to help you find the direction toward your internship. And despite their prescriptive methods, what I’ve observed, is that the internship process is extremely varied. Everyone has an interesting story to tell.
So I’ve been interviewing some of my friends about their internship search, and I have come to a few conclusions that may help you in the process.
1) Research – know your stuff (about the company, the interviewer, what’s currently going on in the world in your field of interest, etc). This seems relatively intuitive, but I put it here to emphasize the importance. I have a couple of friends that have really dedicated their internship search to researching absurd amounts of information and while it doesn’t guarantee a job, it certainly gives you the edge.
2) Practice – It seems to me that no matter how hard or often you practice, you will still be given a curve ball now and again. So you might as well practice as much as you can! Case interviews, as it turns out, are particularly varied. The Office of Career Management is great at helping to conduct practice interviews to help narrow your focus for a given company. I also suggest practicing in the mirror, to family and friends, at the bar, or to your dog.
3) Relax! – Have fun! Think about it this way… you get to spend an hour with someone spelling out all of your accomplishments and competitive attributes. Come on, who doesn’t like to do that??
4) Develop your own process. – The internship process is different for everyone. Are you going to apply to every job available? Are you going to target a certain industry? Are you wanting to be in a specific geographic location? Will you wait until you see a job description that you know is perfect? Are you already aware of the exact kind of job/experience/company that you will target? You have to tailor the search to your needs and desires. Your friends will probably do something differently. That’s ok.
The internship (and eventually job) search is a huge part of the MBA process. It’s good to know what you’re getting yourself into! I hope this helps!