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Importance of Internships for MBA Students

Relentless change in the business world has been accompanied by an equally dramatic need for business school students to prepare themselves for taking on future challenges. The right internship is one of them and often opens the door to a desirable full-time placement after graduation for MBA students. It is an accepted corporate practice to take students for internship and select the best among them as future employees by offering Pre-placement Offers. Internships for MBA students are an accepted practice school in India and a very important component of experiential learning that a student must undergo.

On the educational institutions side, recently Koneru Lakshmiah University, a private university entered into a memorandum of understanding with IBSN Inc. USA, a multinational corporation in global taxation for providing internship opportunities to graduate and undergraduate students at a handsome remuneration of Rs.10,000 per month on a long term basis. The arrangement also provides for placement opportunities for deserving students. It is an example of how industry academia partnerships are shaping up in the globalised and liberalized economy. This is likely to be the trend in the years to come.

Most Indian B-Schools and departments of Management of Universities do not have the practice of admitting students with corporate experience for their MBA programs. By and large the students admitted are fresh from their graduate colleges and lack exposure to companies. On the other hand, companies are looking forward for certain amount of corporate experience/exposure for recruiting the MBA students for placements. Some companies have a policy to employ certain percentage of MBA students through internships only. Internship as a mechanism for partnering between industry and educational institutions is here to stay and flourish. Most MBA institutions have credited internships now as compared to a decade ago. This is done to ensure the internships are taken seriously by the students and companies derive value through internships. The companies, on their part, are offering paid internships to ensure student involvement, targeted outcomes and treat interns as on-the-job trainees providing real business experience. Internships thus facilitate business school students gain work experience demanded by employers.

Most business schools provide internship for duration of two to four months. Many good business schools offer faculty supervised internships. This would ensure faculty exposure to companies and strengthens the industry academia networking apart from guidance and mentoring of student during internship. The objective of the faculty supervised internship is to make it a rigorous experience and placement oriented.

Importance of Summer Internship

Summer internship program helps in experiential learning for a student in an organizational environment which serves his academic requirements and also provides valuable hands-on experience in a chosen area of interest. Internships are focused on what a student learns, not what the student does. Faculty and Company supervised Internships for a specified period of time with a focus on learning executive skills attempt to bridge the gap between theoretical learning in the classroom and company practices.
Power of Internships:

Students benefit in multiple ways through effective internships. Value addition through internships includes the following:

1. A good performance in internship fetches higher academic credentials, particularly for those who are practice oriented. In universities and institutions where internships are credited, this adds to their marks or CGPA. Even if the internship is not credited, a student should take it serious as internship performance counts heavily on placement.

2. A good platform to reflect on theories and concepts learnt in the classroom to observe and apply in real life situations. It reinforces the classroom learning through practice.

3. Provides firsthand experience into company environment, business processes and markets.

4. Successful internships build self confidence of students and enhance their self esteem. It helps in behavioral modifications and emotional balance. Students learn to be independent and responsible.

5. Students gain new skills – cognitive, emotional and social. Learn corporate etiquettes, understand corporate culture – all through own experiences and observations.

6. Stipendiary internships provide sustenance to financially weak students. Good companies provide handsome stipend and performance based incentives.

7. Leads to self discovery of strengths and weaknesses while facing the challenges on-the-job. This coupled with coaching and mentoring by faculty members and company executives would shape up the future manager.

8. Intern gets a chance to network with executives in a company who can help in paving the way for future opportunities.

9. Internships give a feel of career opportunities and lay the foundation for career planning.

The power of internships is that they mould the business school students into an effective manager.

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