It is only natural to begin an article on Summer Internship by talking about the intern himself. I am pursuing my MBA at Asian Institute of Management, Philippines. I had 6+ years of pre-MBA experience in IT industry where I worked for some of the most reputed IT companies of India. From my BE days I was keen on pursuing business and even in IT related work I would explore the business and domain aspects of the project in depth.
When I started with my MBA I realised that my skills and abilities are best aligned with a Marketing and Strategy kind of role. So, I decided to pursue a Major in Marketing while attempting to land an internship in similar roles. Along this pursuit I was able to find the right sized company which was willing to take me as a Marketing Intern. My boss is a dynamic personality and his LinkedIn profile impressed me so much that I was already excited to join this internship even before I landed in Bengaluru.
My first assignment was to create a framework which would be useful in Competition Analysis. Now, frameworks is something which MBA graduates play with day-in and day-out; but it is a totally different ball game when we are asked to "create" one! So, the first day first assignment itself was so challenging and exciting that I was sure I was in for "one hell of a ride" at my company. At this point I would like to point out that irrespective of what B-Schools claim and what academe try to teach, there remains always a gap between classroom study and reality. Some of the basic myths were shattered within first few interactions with my new boss. His sharp mind and incisive questions troubled even my well-trained "critical thinking" minds; but the learning there in was immeasurable!
Another important aspect of a Summer Internship is the opportunity it provides to interact with the company closely and understand its true culture. A few days into the job and I could make good friends in my seating area. I could observe first-hand how the other projects are running and how bosses interact with their team members. This is the kind of information that is not available in any analyst report or placement agency! Also, the networking opportunity created by a Summer Internship is invaluable for an MBA graduate. Plus, the insights from people who have "been there, done that" in our chosen field opens up our mind to new possibilities. Thus, an engaging Summer Internship is a "must-do" experience for MBA students in my opinion.