If you had thought internship is for taking a break from boring lecturers, presentations and case studies, go home few months and come back with a copied report, then think twice. According to Professor Rajesh Aithal, chairman of placements at the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Lucknow, “Internships give students their first exposure to working in an organization and also a flavour of the functional area they are interested in pursuing later in their careers”. Is that all? No.
An internship is meant to be a brief, learning oriented work experience with a company that is to be completed within their MBA tenure. This has been made compulsory for many MBA colleges across India. This would essentially give hand on experience and moreover bridge the gap between those class room learning and real time business scenarios. According to a year-end poll conducted by the Graduate Management Admission Council on 201 recruiters reveals a strong outlook for internship among employers. In 2014, 68 percent of employers said that they had recruited MBA students as interns in 2013.
In my opinion, internship provides a preview to figure out if your dream job is really as it is in your dreams or if it is a sugar coated hell. So first thing to do is find an internship offer from the area were you see yourself after your MBA. Need not be a branded company but a good company, because good company gives you a good experience. This becomes even more relevant if you don’t have any prior work experience. I know getting a good internship is difficult. My advice: start early and use all your available contacts. It helped me to get a better internship.
The next step is to commit yourself. For that you have to put on an employee mask. They pay or may not pay you, but remember at the end of the day what you want to gain is a good experience. Be open and try your hand in whichever possible areas they expose you. It’s not that you should get very serious and do everything. In fact be flexible and it could be really fun if you could strike it right. May not as fun as the Hollywood movie Internship, but still enjoyable. Also try to do a lot of networking and save few contacts. You could save it for bad times i.e., when the economy goes down.
The best part is, if you had really impressed your company mentor and if you are lucky enough, you could grab an offer letter to show off when you get back to college. That’s something very few interns could achieve but won’t hurt to give it a try. Wish you all the best..!!