Failing to understand company culture can cost you the internship, as well as a full-time job offer.If you do your research ahead of time, you will be better equipped to demonstrate that you are a fit.You can start by networking. Rakas states that MBA students should network with alumni, as well as people in their extended network who are currently working at the companies they are interested in.You should also do your own research and pay attention to details such as how communication is handled.
Mistake 2: Not having a pre-onboarding meeting before the start of the internship
One common mistake made by MBA interns is not contacting their supervisor in the weeks leading up to their MBA internship.Questions you should ask include:
Have business needs shifted since you spoke during the interview process?
What does a successful end-of-summer deliverable look like?
What do key milestones look like?
What has characterized the most-effective interns in the past?
Mistake 3: Neglecting your networking contacts after you land an internship
Landing an MBA internship doesn’t mean that it’s time to stop networking. the most common mistake MBA interns make is not building upon the relationships formed with networking contacts during the first year of the MBA program.Luckily, this is a mistake that can easily be avoided. “Circle back with networking contacts you met in the first year of your MBA program to let them know where you decided to go for your summer internship.Share any relevant insights that you have gained – and ask them about their summer vacations!” That way, you can continue to nurture the relationships you have built while demonstrating that you are a valuable part of their professional network.
Mistake 4: Not asking for feedback during the first few weeks of your MBA internship
Even if your MBA internship program doesn’t include feedback sessions, you still need to find a way to get input from your supervisor.If you don’t ask for feedback you risk being blindsided by negative feedback in your end of summer review for issues you could have fixed had you known about them earlier on.EDUHELPCENTRAL advises MBAs to request feedback within the first few weeks of their internships. Interns who want to ensure that they receive feedback from the very beginning can also ask their supervisors to build feedback sessions into meetings.
Mistake 5: Not reflecting upon your MBA internship
MBA internships can be intense, so much so that it’s easy to focus solely on getting the work done. Yet, EDUHELPCENTRAL advises that it’s also important for interns to “create space for learning and growth”, as this is a “key component to a successful internship experience”.One way is to reflect upon what you have learned is to spend 10 minutes a day writing a journal about the work you’ve been doing and how you feel about it. “The thoughts you capture will be helpful in several ways – from helping you refine your post-MBA goals, to helping you craft your résumé bullets and cover letters, to informing your dialogue and interviews with full-time employers as a second year student.”
Mistake 6: Not knowing your company’s social media policy
Misuse of social media can get you fired from a job before you even start.There are many potential ways that your social media use can reflect negatively upon you or your company, so make sure you check with your employer about social media policies.
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