Most MBA aspirants are in the doldrums about whether to go for a full-time on-campus program or an online one for pursuing their MBA. But for those who have finally decided to opt for the online version, they would surely want to do an internship to add substance and quality to their management career.
An internship may very well be considered as one of the most essential features of any MBA course. Almost all reputed MBA programs require their students to do an internship. And when you learn more about an online MBA, they too need you to complete one or even multiple internships from a good company.
And why not?
An internship is a well designed and structured work experience, in a supervised environment, that provides practical hands-on experience to students in a professional business workplace. It can be considered one of the most effective ways for personal development and skill enhancement.
Students gain specialized corporate knowledge working with experienced professionals. This is supplemented with mentoring by expert faculty and supervisors. All these things enable a student to thrive and excel in the business world.
There are many types of internships. Some may be of 2 months, while some may last even a full semester. Some may be handsomely rewarding, while many others have only the work experience to offer, with little or no compensation for even the basic expenses like food and accommodation. But irrespective of such facts, it should be your prime motive to complete at least one internship from a reputable company, to advance your MBA career.
Many students pursuing an online MBA may not have access to their school’s placement cell or career center. So they can look out for many other alternatives for getting an internship.
The most common and widely available option is to visit job fairs. These visits grant you an opportunity to interact with various company representatives in person and thus increase your likelihood of getting internship offers. They also expose you to peers and professionals from diverse backgrounds, which provide valuable insights into the business world.
You can visit various recruitment events, where companies are on the lookout for fresh talent. This will provide yet another chance to interact directly with an organization.
If your school is even a few years old, you can always connect to your alumni network. It may consist of many successful and experienced professionals, who would be more than happy to assist you by providing connections and giving valuable suggestions.
Many online internship databases also offer leads to exciting internship opportunities based on your requirements, eligibility, and skills.
But knowing where to get internship offers is only one side of the coin. The other side is preparing and conditioning yourself so that you can successfully convert the internship offer.
The first step would be to internalize your learning during the period before the interview. No sane recruiter would expect you to master the entire course during the first year itself. But they would seriously hope that you have a good grasp over business and industry knowledge.
And you might want to incorporate the learning into your CV, by participating in various competitions, events, seminars, etc. which are regularly held in an online format.
It is also a good idea to develop company-specific skills to increase your chances of landing an internship. For e.g. If you are going for an internship interview for a role related to cybersecurity or data analytics, having a good command over programming languages would surely be appreciated and favored over others.
Above all, working on your soft skills like developing leadership qualities and time management skills would help you in getting an internship, as much as it would help you throughout the rest of your life.