Securing an Internship and Getting an Offer by Lynnette Jackson
Below, please find the internship and job hunting strategy that proved successful in helping me land my full-time position:
During the school year:
- Be active and involved in activities both in AND outside of school to increase your network and knowledge about your particular area of interest. A good starting point is leveraging scholarships, clubs and volunteer activities.
- Start your search ASAP so you can learn from your mistakes quickly and so that you can have as many options as possible. A great tool is to create a newsletter to insert with holiday cards so your friends and family know what you want to do (people love to help). My foot in the door to National City was that I was awarded a NBMBAA scholarship and through that opportunity was asked to interview for an internship. Of course, I said yes!
- Be prepared to have multiple rounds of interviews – I had two rounds of telephone interviews.
- Be flexible, friendly, act like you want to learn, and ask lots of questions.
Research the company and its competitors in advance. Tell a story and differentiate yourself from other M.B.A.s. Answer the question: what would the company miss by not hiring you?
- You only have 10-12 weeks to prove to your company that you are worthy of a full-time job offer. So, this is a full court press.
- Go above and beyond expectations and ask for more work. Go in early, stay late.
- Use every opportunity to network. Be visible – ask people to go to lunch or coffee. Follow up with a handwritten thank you note the same day (drop in the mail).
- Figure out the politics of the organization – who makes the decisions and how are they made? This will help you to learn the corporate culture and what direction the company is headed.
- Execute your projects – always produce deliverables so your work can be shared with others as to make the decision making process less subjective.
- Before the last day of work write a letter (not an e-mail) about what you learned, how the internship could be improved, why you want to work there (whether you do or not).
This is the process that I followed and on the last day of the internship, I was extended an offer to National City’s M.B.A. associates program.