Five Things to Do During Your Pre-MBA Summer to Prepare for Your Internship

In this blog series, our mbaMission Career Coaches offer invaluable advice and industry-related news to help you actively manage your career. Topics include building your network, learning from mistakes and setbacks, perfecting your written communication, and mastering even the toughest interviews. To schedule a free half-hour consultation with one of our mbaMission Career Coaches, click here.

With the start of orientation only six to eight weeks away at many MBA programs, we know some of you are finishing up your jobs, planning cross-country (or international!) moves, and thinking about how to turn your career goals into reality. 

Here are five actionable tips for laying the groundwork for a successful internship search before you even set foot on campus:

  1. Reflect on your career experiences. Write down each major job/role you have had to date, and underneath that record the following information: what you liked most/least about the role, what skills you developed in the role, and how the role related to/influenced your current career goals. You will use this information to develop your story and pitch yourself to employers. 
  2. Update your network. Send personalized emails to your contacts letting them know you are leaving your job and attending business school; share your career goals and thank them for their support. Change the headline in your LinkedIn profile to reflect your MBA candidacy (e.g., “MBA Candidate @ XXXX | Focused on XXXXX”), and in August, post news of your arrival on campus. 
  3. Become an “insider” on your target industry. Read about trends, company news, and products of interest; learn key terminology; understand the challenges facing your target industry; and develop a perspective on how companies can best compete.
    1. Resources to consider include the following:  (multiple industries), (multiple industries), Grocery Manufacturers Association (consumer products), Stratechery (technology), Robinhood Snacks (finance), LUMAscapes (multiple industries), Ventureblogs (venture capital), Justmeans (CSR), and industry-specific white papers by major consulting firms (multiple industries).
  4. Identify 10 to 15 potential target companies. During your research, jot down a robust list of potential employers. Follow these companies on social media (e.g., Twitter and LinkedIn). See how they position themselves in the market and how they are addressing disruption and change in the market. 
  5. Write down potential obstacles to your internship search. We know that the internship search can be overwhelming, and it is totally normal to be apprehensive, but discussing your concerns with your program’s career center and/or your peers will help you to brainstorm actionable ways to overcome them. 

Plus, read all emails from your MBA program. Many schools are already communicating with the incoming class and are sharing resources and to-do lists. 

Business school is a tremendous growth opportunity that can enable you to achieve more than you thought possible. We at mbaMission wish you the best of luck, and remember that we are always here to support you! 

Have you been admitted to business school? If so, do you want to get a head start on defining your career goals? Do you need help preparing for job interviews or learning how to effectively network with your target employers? Or maybe you want to be a top performer in your current role but are unsure how to maximize your potential. Let an mbaMission Career Coach help via a free 30-minute consultation

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