All of our Full-Time MBA students have the chance to undertake an internship in the summer term. They’re encouraged to employ their networking skills and organise one with a company that interests them, with support from the Careers team.
An internship is a great chance to get back out in the workplace and continue developing your practical skills, while forming useful industry relationships. We spoke to three students from the 2018-19 cohort, who’ve secured fantastic internships at top companies, about their experience and top tips.
Nationality: Hong Kong
Background: Bachelor of Business Administration, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
Pre-MBA employment: Vice President, Asia Corporate Business Group, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation Europe Limited
Internship: Wealth Management MBA Summer Banker Associate Programme, JP Morgan
Undergraduate studies: Masters of Pharmacy, University of Sunderland
Pre-MBA employment: Pharmacy Manager, MD & AG Burdon Ltd.
Internship: International Recruitment Development Programme (IRDP), Johnson&Johnson
Undergraduate studies: Bachelor of Business Management, Singapore Management University
Pre-MBA employment: Talent Acquisition Lead, APAC, American Express Global Business Travel
Internship: Human Resources MBA Summer Internship, American Express
Finding an internship
Brian secured his position with Johnson&Johnson, in their international recruitment development programme (IRDP), through an event he organised. “As the President of the Healthcare Club at the Business School, I invited J&J to hold an event on campus last November,” he said. “This event provided students with information about the IRDP and gave an insight into life at the organisation.”
Divya will be spending ten weeks at American Express as a Human Resources MBA Summer Intern. “I applied for this internship online on the American Express website. This was always a company I was interested in and so I regularly monitored their careers page.”
Paulina agrees that ensuring staying up to date is very important. “I searched it online, and I signed up to receive email alerts keep me aware of opportunities,” she said. “It’s very important to subscribe to different newsletters, as they have different perspectives and focuses.” Paulina will be spending eight weeks in Hong Kong at JP Morgan, working in the wealth management sector serving ultra high net-worth individuals.
Applying with help from Imperial College Business School Careers
All three of the students had some help from our Careers team when applying for their internships.
“While I found the position and decided to apply for it independently, I had a lot of help from my Careers Consultant during the application and interview process,” said Divya.
My Careers Consultant helped me refine my resume and cover letter prior to applying. Before the interview process began we worked on mock interviews and continued to meet as I progressed through the rounds for additional practice.
Brian also found his role independently, using the support Careers offers for interview preparation.
“Experienced advice from my Careers Consultant ensured that I was prepared for each round of the interview process. A number of workshops run by Careers contributed to my application success. In particular, the ‘Networking skills’ workshops have been key in understanding how to approach people within an industry or role I am interested in,” he said.
Like her classmates, Paulina also sought help from Careers to prepare for the interview process.
“In preparation I did seek help from Careers a lot. Especially from Andreia, my dedicated Careers Consultant, and the Finance Career Consultant Marie. Andreia helped me to practice some questions before my interviews, and encouraged me to use resources like Wall Street Prep.”
Paulina also got the chance to practice her video interview skills and get feedback. “I really did make good use of this, as nowadays video interviews are more and more popular,” she said.
Taking MBA learnings to the workplace
How will what they’ve learnt so far on the MBA programme help in their internships?
“I’ve learned a lot from my cohort, about time management, elevator pitches, and how to sell myself,” said Paulina.
I’ve learned a lot of soft skills, and had the chance to study electives related to my future job. I am studying Asset Management, Private Equity and Venture Capital, all of which are helpful for preparing to perform well in my future role.
Divya agrees. “Academically, modules like Strategy, Organisational Behavior and Decisions Analytics have helped me prepare. Working in teams throughout the MBA and with such a diverse group of students has also really helped me. In addition, giving presentations regularly has helped build up my confidence.”
Want to land an internship at a top company?
We asked Paulina, Divya and Brian what their top tip was for students looking to find their perfect internship.
“Know why you are interested in the company, the job and demonstrate why you are the best fit for the vacancy through your resume, cover letter and finally during the interview process,” said Divya.
Paulina highlighted the importance of being open: “I would encourage students to be open minded, and to do more research on all the possibilities, to widen your job searching scope to non-traditional roles and opportunities in additional countries. You may find the hidden gems,” she said.
She also mentioned making good use of alumni connections. “Throughout my preparation for this role and others, I found there were alumni who’ve worked in that company before. Often, you can easily message them on LinkedIn, introduce yourself, and they are really helpful.”
They will tell you all about the practical side of the job, and may be able to share useful tips and tailored advice according to your background. Alumni are a great network.
Brian thought that being open and putting yourself out there was the key. “An MBA programme immerses you in a new environment with new people. Aim to put yourself outside your comfort zone and take opportunities that come your way.”
Focus on learning new things and meeting new people. Building connections and networking can be the difference in helping you to secure a job or internship. Be brave and put yourself out there. You have nothing to lose.
Exciting times lie ahead for our students
“I am excited about the opportunity to work with people from all over the world, learn from my colleagues and managers, and most importantly make a significant impact through my work,” said Divya.
Brian is looking forward to making an impact on a global business, whilst learning more about the pharmaceutical industry. “It creates a platform where I can utilise the healthcare experience from my career and the commercial skills that I have developed on the MBA. Most of all, I am excited to work in a cross-functional team that creates value for its patients.”
“I’m looking forward to everything,” said Paulina. “I am really excited about the opportunity to progress my career in private banking. I am ready to leverage my relationship management experience and credit knowledge serving large-cap corporate, and I’m keen to learn the skillset required to service ultra high net-worth individuals.“
We’re wishing all of our students undertaking internships this summer the greatest success!