Where Can I Get My Summer Internship?

In part one of our primer on MBA internships—”What is a Summer Internship and Why Should I be Interested?“—we took a closer look into the benefits of having a summer internship and where to start to look for one. Today, we’ll start to dive deeper into what types of opportunities are available, which companies offer them, and the potential salaries interns can make.

Where Can I Find a summer Internship?

You might already be sold on the idea of getting a summer internship, but if you’re going to reap the benefits of an internship, you’ll have to find one first.

A look at summer interns at business schools throughout the country reveals some common trends. While students find and get internships in a variety of ways, the most common method by far as through university resources. At the Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago, for example, 86.7 percent of students had their internships facilitated by the school, whether through campus interviews, connections made through networking, or other sources like faculty and student groups. For the much smaller percentage who found summer internships on their own, it was a fairly even split between students with personal connections and those who applied directly through a company’s website or job board.

If you’re looking for the perfect summer internship, making use of your school’s Career Services department can be crucial part. A quick look at the Booth School’s Career Services can help make sense of that 86.7 percent number: the office provides students with help in networking, interviewing, negotiating and more. These skills might be gained through workshops, one-on-one coaching, and other techniques to help steer students through their internship experiences and onto careers.

What Will I Be Doing?

The types of opportunities available for MBA summer internships are just as varied as the students themselves. At the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, two functions emerged as the most popular (marketing and education, with 17.2 percent of Wharton interns and 15.4 percent, respectively), but overall revealed a huge variety of industry and fields. From hospitality to insurance to real estate, Wharton student interns spent their summers doing a little bit of everything. Students also did not seem to be restricted in their internship by location. While 28 students did stay in the state of Pennsylvania to complete their internship, a nearly even number took on internships in New York City, and many more spread throughout the country in states like California, Massachusetts, and the District of Columbia. Over 22.5 percent of students even completed internships outside of the United States.

Nearly a quarter of Wharton MBAs complete their summer internships outside of the United States.

The type of work performed by interns each summer can also vary heavily, depending on the company, the position, and even a students own career goals and abilities. There is also a lot of variety as far as the scope of each internship: while some interns work full-time hours over the course of a summer, other roles may require less of an extended time commitment. For Wharton interns working full-time over the summer, internship length had a huge range and might run anywhere from three to seventeen weeks.

Most major companies that hire and recruit MBAs will have some type of internship program already in place, but looking at past internship and employment reports at your university can provide a good snapshot of what types of companies students typically intern with. At Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, there were a number of companies hiring more than three students, while some hired more than 25 Kellogg students. Companies like Amazon, McKinsey & Company, and the Boston Consulting Group emerged among the top hiring companies of MBA interns from Kellogg.

In a tech company like Amazon, the type of internships offered to students can also vary widely. Students interested in working for the company might find internships available in the Finance Leadership Development Program, the Retail Leadership Development Program, the AWS CloudPath Program manager and more.

How Much Will I Make?

With the length of every internship and the hours required varying so significantly, how can students be sure their internship can support them through the summer?

A look at MBA internships and the salaries they offer from month to month reveal a general trend of well-paid internships even in industries on the lower end of the payment range. Far from the typical unpaid internship that so often springs to mind when students search for summer gigs, payment for these MBA internships can range from $1,000 per month to more than $14,000. The tremendous range in these numbers is mostly the result of differences in industry and function for each internship. At the Anderson School of Management at UCLA, for instance, student interns in consulting reported salaries ranging from $4,333 to $14,083 per month. Even the industries with the lowest salaries overall still boast pay that can generally support a student’s cost of living for the summer. For job function, the highest paid internships were in management/strategy ($500-$14,083), while the lowest were in human resources ($520-5,600).

With the possibility of high salaries, networking opportunities, and even the chance to turn an internship into a full-time career, it’s no surprise that so many MBAs participate in summer internship programs. At UCLA Anderson, 227 students of 238 sought internships for the summer—and 227 found them.

Your internship goals also might help you pick the right MBA program if you are still undecided. Looking into the success rate of internship placements at each school, as well as where students typically intern and the range of salaries they earn, might make the difference between two otherwise equal programs.

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About the Author

Alanna Shaffer

Staff Writer, covering MetroMBA's news beat for Atlanta, Houston, and Dallas.

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