End Your MBA Internship with a Fulltime Offer
The ultimate goal of an MBA internship is a fulltime offer at summer’s end. Here are three milestones to help you along the way.
Learn as much as you can about the company, the people, the strategy, and the values. Seek out information to understand what your life will be like if you get the fulltime opportunity. Watch. Listen. Ask questions.
When you identify areas that align with your values and goals, get involved. Show interest in projects and people by volunteering.
Americans value people that take initiative. Demonstrating your ability to act will contribute to your chances of a fulltime offer.
MBA hiring tends to be a collaborative effort. Recruiting teams sit with interns’ resumes, review strengths and weaknesses, and recommend candidates for fulltime offers. Senior management takes those recommendations seriously, and you want to be more than a piece of paper when it’s time for that to happen.
Most Americans approach work in a transactional way, meaning they trust people easily and focus on work before relationships. Assuming there is time left when the work is settled, transactional people will make small talk in an attempt to get to know you.
Follow this flow during your internship. Be ready to work straight away. Strive to be as efficient as possible and leave time for relationship building at the end of meetings. Answer questions about yourself concisely and enthusiastically, and ask similar questions in return. For example, if someone asks about your favorite MBA professor, answer and return the question, “What about you? Who was your favorite professor?”
These connections may seem surface if you come from a deeply interpersonal culture, but they will go far in connecting with Americans and getting a fulltime offer.
Americans love visibility. Offering insightful contributions in a concise, confident manner gets you noticed, and presenting to senior management with strong executive presence gets you offers. Here are tips from the CulturalTraining.com article on delivering effective presentations in the USA:
- Americans want to be engaged, sometimes even entertained.
- They do not need much background data; may get impatient if too much time is devoted to explaining the history or how the situation developed.
- Americans may interrupt to ask for clarification.
- Show enthusiasm about key points as you present them.
- Appear self-confident but not arrogant.
Hard work is a given. If you learn, connect, and shine during your internship, you will be well on your way to a fulltime offer.