The Internship Search
Finding the right internship takes time and strategy. Before you begin your search, think about what you want to get out of your internship. Consider the job functions, potential professional connections, and how the experience will factor into your career development.
Securing an Interview
Once you have done your research and created a list of potential companies, utilize your resources at the Rady School to maximize your chances of securing an interview. In the past, students from the Rady School have secured internships through networking at campus job fairs, introductions from the Bay Area trek, and connections with alumni. Rady Graduate Career Connections offers services for students to sharpen their resumes and do mock interviews. Before you submit your application, review your online presence and improve your LinkedIn profile with these tips.
“If not for the Rady School’s amazing faculty and staff, I would have never gotten this internship, let alone excelled at it. They go above and beyond for their students and I am lucky enough to benefit from their efforts,” said Kimberly Gossard (MBA ’16) of her internship at the Aquarium of the Pacific.
Ways to Make the Most of Your MBA Internship
Think back to why you chose your internship and identify goals of what you want to get out of the experience. Looking to transition to a new industry? Learn as much as possible and take advantage of the networking opportunities available to you. Want to build your skills in a particular area? Aim to find a mentor who can help teach and guide you.
Rady MBA students share how they made the most of their MBA internship experiences:
1. Build off of your existing passions and interests
“I knew I had an interest in government, and I knew that was very unique for a MBA candidate,” said Matthew Cohen about the beginning of his internship search. Cohen spent his summer working for the City of San Diego, where he was able to use his MBA skills while simultaneously exploring his interest in government.
Rady School students have worked at all kinds of institutions, including The Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach and a film company in Beijing, China. All students were able to apply the skills they learned at the Rady School.
2. Use the experience to discover what you love
“Having come straight from my undergraduate studies to the Rady School, I knew I was not prepared to choose a specific business function on which to focus my career search. After being exposed to public relations and communications in various forms over the last several months, that has now become the focus for my future career,” said Cohen (MBA ’16) of his internship at the City of San Diego.
3. Take advantage of the opportunity to discover a new city
“I challenged myself by taking the risk of working in a new area, which is some 2000 miles away from my home (San Jose, CA). The safe move would have been working for a startup in the Bay Area, where I’ve lived for most of my life,” said Aaron Chiu (MBA ’16) of his internship at Eaton Corporation in Ellisville, MO.
Living in a new city will give you the opportunity to explore and experience a new place while developing your professional skills and expanding your network.
4. Personalize your own position
Choose an internship that allows for some flexibility. An internship is essential to your professional and personal development, and can be an important gateway to securing a job in the future.
“The right internships can be molded to fit your learning style, goals, and objectives. In essence, internships are what you make of them,” said Gossard.
5. Apply your Rady MBA skills to your job functions
“Without the lessons I learned during my first year at the Rady School, I would have lacked even the most basic vocabulary to understand what was going on around me. I feel that my MBA program gave me the tools to insert myself into Human Longevity Inc’s (HLI) activities, in an effective and efficient manner,” said Francisco Uribe (MBA ’16) of his internship at HLI.
For example, Nicholas Bernard (MBA ’16), who interned at Cisco utilized the skills he learned in various courses at the Rady School during his time at Cisco.
“My Leadership Skills, Values, and Teamwork in Technology Firms MBA course gave me the intellectual capacity to learn, participate, and grow within my team as well as understand the organizational culture of Cisco and how to succeed within it,” said Bernard.
6. Create meaningful connections
“I’ve seen firsthand how absolutely vital it is to build meaningful relationships with colleagues and make meeting new people a priority. Indeed, I got an early call from Kaiser Permanente through a contact I made on Rady’s Bay Area Trek. I’ve made connecting with others a priority at Kaiser Permanente and have many wonderful new friends to show for it,” said Allison Noel (MBA ’16).
A strong professional network is essential to any career field, and an internship is an excellent way to develop your network.
7. Seek diverse experiences
“Determining what job function, role or company I should aspire to apply to during my internship search seemed like a mammoth task. The only thing I was clear about was that I wanted an entirely different work experience compared to that of my previous work experience as a data analyst,” said Raymond Guo (MBA ’16) who interned at PayPal.
Diverse work experience will build your resume and help you set yourself apart in the job market. In addition, you will be able to explore new career fields without a long-term commitment or investment.
8. Use your internship as a starting point
Utilize the connections you make and the environment that you work in to continue your career development and create new opportunities for yourself.
“I began looking for ways to leverage my position with the City in order to move closer to the center of the government. I looked online for internships with the Office of Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer, and after finding a contact, applied right away. Based on my qualifications, I was offered a position as a Policy and Communications Intern,” said Cohen.
Aleena Karamally is a student writer for the Rady School and a freshman at UC San Diego. She is a Human Development major and a member of the UC San Diego Equestrian Team.