For me, getting the internship I want has been all about listening to my career coach and following her guidance.
Though the on campus recruiting for the Brand & Product Management students officially starts in December, within the first few months of my MBA I have already interviewed with six blue-chip companies in both Technology and the Consumer-Packaged Goods industries. Below are the top 6 things I was coached through to get the internship of my dreams.
1. Update your Resume and LinkedIn Profile
The career preparation at Wisconsin begins before the school year starts! The career team and the Brand Center director worked with me to perfect my resume and LinkedIn profile months before the school year started. Although I had already updated the majority of my LinkedIn profile, including the banner image, and media features, my career coach helped me structure my about me section better and gave me guidance on updating my recommendations section in order to stand out even further.
These updates proved to be beneficial as two of the companies that I interviewed with this fall both found me on LinkedIn.
2. Know your Values, Motivations, and Desired Workplace
At the Wisconsin School of Business, we have great opportunities to meet with and talk to recruiters from blue-chip companies nationwide. In fact we have so many opportunities that it can become overwhelming. To alleviate that overwhelming feeling, one of the first activities that our career coaches led us through was an exercise in which we wrote out our desired work environment and culture.
Knowing my values, what motivates me, and my desired workplace made it easier to narrow down where I was looking to work. For example, a recruiter reached out to me about applying for a particular internship. Since I knew already that our values did not align, I was able to reject the opportunity and save their time.
3. Connect with Peers and Badger Alumni
The badger network is very strong. If you are interested in a particular company, you can go to LinkedIn and find badger alumni who work there. What’s better, they are often willing to hop on the phone and talk through their career. Before applying to many of my internships, I talked to a few alumni who worked at each company. I wanted to make sure the culture aligned with what I was looking for, and I needed to make sure the company would value me as an employee. All the alumni I reached out to were willing and excited to chat and talked openly and honestly about their experiences.
One of my internship opportunities came from a conversation on LinkedIn. He let me know their company was hiring and I applied right away. It has been exciting keeping him up to date on how interviews have been going.
I also talked to current second-year students about their internship experiences. From one of my conversations, I was able to apply and land an interview there.
4. Attend National Career Fairs
If you are able, attend national career fairs. Here are a few that happen throughout the year:
- Relish Connect Virtual Career Conference
- National Black MBA Association
- MBA Veterans
- Reaching Out MBA (ROMBA)
I was able to interview and receive my first internship offer from attending the National Black MBA Association Career Fair.
5. Conduct Mock interviews
Mock interviews have been extremely helpful. As soon as school began, we had weekly interview sessions with our career coach, and we are now deep into marketing acumen interview preparation sessions. In addition to the prep sessions, we have had mock interview sessions with current second-year students, alumni, and board members.
Having all this training allowed me to feel prepared and confident during interviews.
6. Be Confident
Speaking of confidence – confidence is key. With all this training, and newfound knowledge, when I walk into…or rather show up in Zoom interviews, I instantly remind myself that I’ve done the preparation so no matter what happens, it’s meant to be. Then I take a breath and turn the camera on. That confidence has helped me tremendously during my interviews.
All in all, being coachable has proven to be extremely useful as I look to secure an internship for this summer. I chose to take on my goal of finding a great place to work post MBA, and I think I am well on my way. If you follow these six pieces of advice you can be too!