How to bag a good Summer Internship
The first thing that hits you in a b-school is summer placements. It comes so fast that you hardly get time to understand what MBA is all about. It turn into a mad rush with everyone running after their elusive dreams. The scenes are reminiscent of any Bollywood masala movie with action, drama, emotions, conspiracy, laughter, tears and triumph. Here are my suggestions to bag a good summer internship but the most important thing to remember is that it is just an internship and not the end of life.
Set your story straight: Companies want individuals who have clarity of goals. The internship should fit in your scheme of things in the long term. Hence, it is very important that you make it very clear why you are applying to a particular sector, company and profile.
Create a niche for yourself: You will be competing against your batch mates who have all cleared the same process that you did. A top level view is of hundreds of similar individuals applying for an internship. Thus, it is important that you differentiate yourself from the herd. This can be anything which will is relevant to your internship.
Impactful CV: The most important piece of document for your internship is your CV. To bag a good summer internship, you need to focus on it right from the start and the run of the mill points don’t really matter, you need something concrete. You should remember that it should be relevant and differentiating factor. The earlier you start the better.
Network: You would have used this term a lot of times for getting into a b-school but you should learn to use it for good. Know the right people in the campus, your alums in the industry, people in the industry from your family, seniors and your batch mates and network with them because it does help and you never know who might come in handy, where.
Corporate Competitions: These are the best way to prove your mettle and it is where your talent and only talent is being tested. The time before summer internship is very hectic but it is important to prioritise between you college assignment and a corporate competition that can give you a straight PPO or PPI. It is all the more important if you think your profile lacks brilliance.
Befriend the Newspaper: Most of the students turn up in the GDs lesser prepared than they were for MBA entrance GDs. It is primarily because in the hectic MBA life there is hardly any time for you to catch up on news. This is the pitfall of many when they sit in company GDs, underprepared even on the hottest of the current topics. It’s again prioritising because this is something that gives you an edge.
Cracking Interviews requires preparation: Although there are naturally gifted people who can convert interviews at will but for most of us cracking interviews requires preparation. You need to prepare a long questionnaire of all the possible questions and prepare them well to avoid any surprise questions in the interview. Confidence is the biggest virtue to have. It is a talent all companies look for in the candidates.
Focus on your area of interest: Although being open to options in all domains increases your probability of getting a good summer internship but being focussed provides you an edge over others. If you have made your mind early and work consistently towards it then you would have a first mover’s advantage over others in that domain.
Do simple things right: It is easy to get carried away and complicate stuff by studying things in great detail during preparations. You would find people studying marketing white book and Kotler for preparation while all you need is to be thorough with your basics. Companies know that your MBA life is just few months old and they don’t expect you to know everything in detail.
The I.T. curse: If you have some previous IT work ex then you are already in a quagmire but the important thing is to realise this and show the facets of your life that relate you to your area of interest. It’s important to accept that you are a part of the herd and need to work a bit extra to differentiate yourself.
Make Shortlists Count: It doesn’t matter how many shortlists you get in the companies, all that matters is the one which you finally convert. Approach each process as a do or die scenario and give it your all. If you don’t get too many shortlists, have patience and prepare that much harder because you will definitely get a shot and it is up to you to make the best of the one you get.
Luck: Even after all the GAS that I just spurted out here, it all boils down to those few minutes in front of the panel. You’ll need some luck on your side to bag that dream internship and if you got loads of it then it will fall right in your lap and you need not do anything.
PS: All views are personal and people might have differing opinions but the most important thing is to keep calm because life’s long and this is just a two months internship.
Ishan Arora is a student from IIFT who has had a very regular life- an engineer, an IT professional and now an MBA student. He is very passionate about writing and writes on a personal blog A Vent in the Delirium. He is also in love with music and plays on internet radio in his college.