How Can Adult Employed MBA Students Get Internship Experience?

A Master of Business Administration is a degree program designed for students who already have a bachelor’s in business, but before entering one of these programs, you may wonder if you can do an MBA internship. These internships usually let you get course credit for doing some type of work for a local company or business. Though you may think that internships are only open to traditional students who attend grad school immediately after college, most MBA programs offer internships to adult students and working students too.

Who Can Do an Internship?

A traditional MBA program follows an outline that is similar to any other grad school program. You enter the year after completing a bachelor’s degree, take classes on weekdays and graduate in two years or less. Executive programs and professional programs are better suited for students who took some time off from school and already work in the field. These programs often use a combination of evening, weekend and online classes that let you finish your studies faster. Even if you enroll in an executive MBA program, you may still have the chance to do an internship. It usually depends on the requirements of your program.

Paid vs. Unpaid Internships

When looking for an MBA internship, you’ll find both paid and unpaid internships available. Unpaid internships give you course credit for the work that you do but do not come with any type of salary. With a paid internship, you can get both course credit and a regular paycheck. According to Sarah Whitten of CNBC, business students can take as much as $10,000 or more while doing an internship. Many of these internships take place over the summer. If you continue working while going to school, you may find that you need to take time away from your job to finish one of these programs.

Types of Internships

There are as many different types of internships as there are MBA concentrations. An MBA concentration refers to the exact field of study that you choose. While some programs are more general in nature and look at all areas of business, many of the top MBA programs will require that you select a concentration in an area like finance, international business or management. A management internship might require that you work in the HR department of a major business, while an accounting internship would let you study bookkeeping and similar topics at an accounting firm.

How to Get One

As an MBA student, there are two different ways in which you can find and get an internship. You can either go out and locate one yourself or work with your university to find one. Many colleges have partnerships and agreements with local companies that make it easier for you to find all the available opportunities in your area and apply for one. As a working professional, you may prefer using your network to find an internship working for a company in your field. Some colleges may even let you get internship credit for the work you already do.

MBA programs are highly competitive because graduates of the top programs can earn more than their peers. Even if you enter a professional or executive program and have years of experience in the business world, you will usually still have the chance to do an MBA internship.