Published: Feb. 12, 2016
Amanda Leavitt

The internship search, a potentially painful experience but with the right preparation and outlook, the exciting opportunity to gain experience in the career track you have always wanted. I don’t think this will apply to many first year MBA students, as I am sure they will know all of this already. So this is for you, the incoming student or those considering a MBA. These are some of the things I have learned in my first year as a MBA student that helped me land that internship that can open doors to a great job upon graduation.

Wish I had known:

  • It took me a long time to be properly organized, prepared, and polished
  • It was not always a joyful process – getting feedback can be tough, but it was worth it
  • It was easier to rule out gigs I did not want than I thought it would be
  • A quick “no” is a gift – it allowed me to move on and refocus my efforts
  • I had to show up and suck before I could show up and shine (see pain points)

My pain points:

  • Hearing I did not have the right background for the job I really wanted
  • The first submission – it’s so hard to get the ball rollin’
  • Balancing job searching with academic efforts
  • Completely bombing a mock interview the night before my big interview
  • …and (woe is me) graciously handling multiple offers and turning down future opportunities to interview

The best parts:

  • Getting to know my classmates, finding out their goals and career aspirations
  • Commiserating with others as they endured the same recruitment processes
  • Reading books on case interviews and common interview questions
  • Learning about all the opportunities with local and national firms

A trick or two:

  • Start early
  • Have at least 3 people look at every resume and cover letter you send out – better if they are three different people every time
  • Lean on the experts around you

In the end, landing that perfect internship, no matter how stressful at times the process can be, is why many of my classmates and I decided to pursue our MBA. I know you will end up with the perfect gig. Go get it!

Amanda Leavitt's Linkedin profile can be found below: