If there is one thing that is abundantly available at the Graduate School of Management, it’s advice! I don’t know if it’s the small class size or the really sweet nature of people at the School, but you get a lot of advice. At times this can be so overwhelming that it becomes infinitely difficult to extract Signal from all that noise.
So this blog post about internship advice might be entirely irrelevant to some of you, a little boring to most of you. But if I am able to connect to at least one person, my effort has been fruitful. So let me take you through another round of advice!
This is as simple as it gets. I know all of you are a little overwhelmed by the 3 hour long classes and tiresome socializing processes. But if Internship is not the first priority on your mind from day 1, you are already on the back foot and that’s never good when you have got few bases to cover! Ok so how early is early?? The answer is ASAP!
By now the career development people would have taken away at least 2 days from your valuable schedule with the two-hour job search sessions. I know that feeling but believe me, the LAMP process really works! Irrespective of your personal opinions. But the first thing you should do when you are in such a close knit family as GSM is to explore the Alumni contacts from LinkedIn and build a LAMP list from that. The hit ratio with such a list is definitely going to be high. I got replies from as many Alumni as I contacted. They really want us to succeed! Use them effectively.
Sort out your Resume
This is the single most important aspect of the job search process. Then why the hell did I list it as my 3rd bullet point? Well often times the most important things need some preparatory ground work, if you know what I mean!!! Translating your experience and expertise to match the roles that you are aspiring for is the most arduous task you will face during your B-school. Mainly people with deep rooted experience in any specific field find it most difficult to bring out a one page resume and even if they do, they fail to connect those skills to specific roles you are targeting.
If you think you cannot do all this alone, approach Career Development and if that does not work out still, seek professional help. Ignore the costs associated with this process as we are in B-school and we know the concept of ROI. If you start early, then you can save many resource that go into building your resume.
My old resume failed to get me a decent internship because there was too much technical information that could not bring out the qualitative skills needed for an MBA internship. Only by investing lot of time and resources on my resume, I was able to attract lot of attention from recruiters which eventually lead to couple of offers within 3 weeks of re-working my resume.
This is the biggest B-school “dirty word” that you would love to hate! This is probably the most loosely used B-school concept. It is not defined by the number of treks you attend nor is it quantified by number of connections in your LinkedIn. There is more to it than meets the eye! To really understand the power of Networking, read the HBS case on Heidi Roizen and define your own approach to network. I do mine while I play Cricket every week in the Bay Area and while I travel in BART. But I have to tell you, those early morning commuters on BART do not appreciate you waking them up for Networking! Do not go unarmed.
I know lot of you have your own experience and doubts about the power of LinkedIn, but for me both the Internships were posted on LinkedIn. Many of you might have done cost benefit analysis on the efficiency of having a premium account. For me unsubscribing Netflix and HBO Go worked out well. I mean I had to devour Madmen and House Of Cards in 3 weeks, but that’s not the point! You can effectively utilize it by enabling premium account only for those 4 months during which you vigorously search for jobs! It’s a pay as you go service model!
I hope at least some of this makes sense to some of you. Happy Internship searching.