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The value of an MBA internship

Prodigy Finance - October 16, 2019

Valuable pre-MBA internship experience

Academia is noted for theories and ideas about what can or should happen. The one difficulty is that colleges and universities are a bit removed from the hustle and bustle of the business world. That's the nature of the beast, because institutions of higher learning are expected to be devoted to study. 

But, there still needs to be some connection to the commercial world, particularly in a school that offers graduate study in business and related fields. And that's why many MBA schools will either insist or encourage students to seek out internships.

Pre-MBA internships offer hands-on value

The internship is an introduction to the real world of business. It gives an MBA student the opportunity to understand how the process works in the commercial world. 

There's a connection between internship and academic study: the internship shows how business theories work in application, and why certain practices learned in the classroom are so important. The experience gives greater meaning and value to what is being taught. An MBA intern can approach his or her studies with the realisation that this isn't just tedious material, but actually provides skills that aid in success.

Internships also give MBA students the opportunity to shine. A challenging stay with a company can provide the chance to show what has been learned in the classroom. It also lets the MBA student demonstrate the interpersonal and team skills he or she may have. That's extremely important. Often times, the ability to work with others is the deciding factor between 2 equally qualified candidates when it comes to an employment offer.

And, the postgraduate value of an internship can't be denied. 

A survey conducted by the Graduate Management Admission Council noted that 62% of those surveyed hire MBA interns and 74% will interview those who have done internships with them before considering other candidates. 

Salary offers are also noticeably higher. MBAs who received a job offer through an internship were offered greater salary increases over pre-degree earnings than MBA graduates who were given new job offers without having gone first through an internship. 

Internship impact on emerging markets students

The hands-on education provides even greater support for the emerging markets.

Institutions of higher learning in the emerging markets are not necessarily substandard, but may lack the academic expertise to fully communicate modern business practices. 

Moreover, the economies of these countries may not have the commercial enterprises that can offer meaningful internships. Both reasons make it extremely important for a foreign MBA student to secure internships in those countries where they're studying.

The experience benefit has already been mentioned, but there is an added value. Emerging markets need relationships that can encourage investment and commerce. 

MBA students from emerging countries can establish friendships in the classroom, but they can develop very real business contacts through the internships. The knowledge gained by the practical experience, combined with the interpersonal activity of the office, enables these students to later be excellent liaisons between their home-based companies and those with whom they have had internships. This can promote business development in the emerging markets.

Prodigy Finance understands the value of internships

Prodigy Finance recognizes how important it is for an MBA student to have an internship, and most of our programme schools have internship programmes as part of the MBA experience. Some of these are quite innovative. 

Oxford’s Saïd Business School has a pre–MBA internship programme where a student accepted into the MBA curriculum does an internship before academic classes start. The Cranfield School of Management MBA includes a 3-month internship where students work with a host organization, working on a practical thesis that can help that company. The European School of Management and Technology (ESMT) integrates 2 internships in its programme: the first-year internship and the master’s thesis internship.

These programmes are forward-looking advances that make alumni proud. Those same alumni who are working with Prodigy Finance to provide loans also know that they're  helping to make a difference in the global economy. Loans and internships are investments in the intellectual capital of those parts of the world that are beginning to participate in the global economy. 

The alumni contribute even more when they encourage their employers to provide internships. These are the kind of opportunities that help foster stronger international commerce and better working relationships.

Ready to accelerate your career with an MBA and pre-MBA internship?

Prodigy Finance offers loans to international MBAs pursuing their degrees at top universities across the globe. Apply for your loan now so you can focus on the MBA experiences that really matter. 

Prodigy Finance Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

Post updated for accuracy and freshness on October 16, 2019. Originally published on September 18, 2013.

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