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When Opportunity Knocks: Make the Most of Your MBA Internship

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Turn back the clock to a few months ago when my interviewer asked, what I want to do during and after my time at SIBM-H? I did have a well-prepared answer; I was nervous and flustered. He did see something through and gave me a green signal. I was now being considered for an MBA internship. SIBM-H placement cell has a huge role in my career progression. They’re the best and know what’s best for you.

While it’s a great feeling to explore the corporate jungle, wear crisp formals all day, the question is, how do you seize the opportunity?

I consulted professionals and compiled the most valuable advice for interns from their stories, my own observations, and management literature. This advice won’t cover everything, but it does offer a starting point for you.

Start with punctuality. Show up on time (or early), arrive for meetings before they begin, and complete tasks by their deadlines. When I asked professional contacts for their advice to interns, they consistently listed punctuality as a critical success factor.

Complete each task with excellence. Whether an assignment is mundane or exotic, pursue it with relentless drive and a determination to exceed. If you’re asked to make an Excel model, over-invest your time and effort in assuring its right, aesthetically appealing, and thorough.

Take on more work — without being asked. Use excess time to take on new and important work, assignments others don’t want. When you see something you can do, do it. Deliver what no one is expecting — or what no one else is willing to do — and you’ll not only be appreciated, but remembered.

Be resourceful. Research a topic thoroughly before asking a colleague for help, and take the time to reflect. Come up with your own insight or solution before consulting others when you uncover a problem. It’s critical that your colleagues view you as someone who is resourceful and independent enough to bring something new to the table.

Ask questions — good ones. The hallmark of an intellectually curious, diligent colleague is the quality of his or her questions. Spending time formulating the right questions will hone your ability to ask questions that lead to real insight and will ingrain in you the essential habit of intellectual curiosity. I know it as it worked for me!

Build professional relationships. Internships usually last only a few months, and forming deep relationships within your team and throughout the organization can help you in boosting your personal development. Make yourself more memorable; create a network of contacts to reach out to when you’re ready to find your next job.

Internships are hard work. And doing only what’s expected of you isn’t enough to be noticed. You need to go above and beyond, from arriving on time to doing exemplary work, and make the most of your time in the organization.

So when an opportunity knocks on the door, you instantly open it with wide arms!

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