Idawahio and the job search

This is the second blog in a series for international prospective MBAs, addressing some of their most common questions. The previous entry discussed misconceptions about Iowa and job opportunities in the region. Today, we discuss the location and how Tippie Career Services works with our students to identify and secure internship and full-time opportunities.


job-searchAs an international candidate, you have a unique challenge: evaluating MBA programs that will supercharge your career, and making a decision from thousands of miles away.  You’ll consider all the usual factors as you evaluate potential programs – program ranking, class size, job placement statistics.

When you come upon the Tippie MBA, you’ll see the numbers and rankings behind our program. Great faculty, great real-world learning opportunities, great financial aid options – but what about the location? (The title is a subtle nod to an old joke about Iowa — those not from the midwest often confuse us with Idaho or Ohio, hence the ‘Idawahio’ title!)

You wonder, does a program outside an urban center limit your exposure to potential employers?  Will you have trouble getting an internship? Are you limited to the state of Iowa?

Be reassured, the stats show that these worries are unnecessary.

Each year, Tippie students secure internships at impressive companies across the United States, and around the globe – last year’s mix included Amazon, American Express, Unilever and Tom’s Shoes.  Are these companies located anywhere near Iowa?  No – and none in this list are even in the Midwest!

So how does the Tippie program enable students to snare impressive internships outside the Midwest?

While Tippie does invite companies onto campus for MBA recruiting, the main components of a Tippie student’s internship search are coaching, direct referrals, exposure at the career fairs and, most important, networking.

Here’s a more detailed recipe of the Tippie Successful Internship Search:

  • Ready….GO!  From Day 1 in the program, Tippie students are gently-but-consistently encouraged to start the internship search, and maintain it rigorously as a top priority throughout the school year (sometimes easier said than done).
  • Career Services:  While the onus is on students to do the legwork of   the internship search, Career Services is a vital means of support for the internship search.  Think of Career Services coaches as students’ agents – people who suggest industries and companies that fit students’ needs, who collect resources for students to make inroads into their targeted companies, and who even pick up the phone to recommend students to companies, whenever possible.  They won’t do students’ work for them, of course, but make no mistake, Career Services is fundamental in the internship search.  And Tippie’s small program ensures students receive the personalized support they need to be a success.
  • The Tippie Network:  Most current Tippie MBAs cite alumni networking as the most important part of securing their internships.  The diverse and dedicated Tippie MBA alumni network is filled with successful alums who want to help current students.  What’s more, Tippie makes connection to alums easy through organized events, digital databases of contact and work information, and LinkedIn groups.   You’ll be amazed – Tippie alums really go above and beyond to help students make connections in their targeted industries and companies.
  • Job Fairs:  Job fairs – events which connect hundreds or even thousands of employers with MBA students – are the best tools to maximize exposure to employers and get that rare “facetime” with employers that can push students further than their resumes alone.  And Tippie highly encourages its students to attend.  Tippie even subsidizes or provides transportation to some fairs.
  • Company Visits:  Twice a year Tippie MBA student organizations plan visits to a variety of companies in a major metropolitan area, usually over the course of 2 days. These company visits include alumni events for further networking with Tippie alums in the area.  The student cost is low, and the exposure and opportunity high.  Plus, it’s a great time!
  • Support for Nontraditional Internship Searches:  A Tippie student may have a very specific industry he or she is targeting – perhaps one that doesn’t typically recruit MBAs.  For these internship searches, “nontraditional” methods may be necessary – like rogue social networking, for example, or student-organized trips to company locations.  The methods may be nontraditional, but students still have the full support and resources of Career Services to make the search maximally productive.

Still worried?  Don’t be – Tippie provides the tools and support students need to make their internship searches successful.

Contact the Tippie Full-time MBA Admissions team today to find out how to become a Tippie MBA.

Lydia Fine

About Lydia Fine

Lydia joined Tippie in 2008 and now works with Tippie's Marketing team as Associate Director of Marketing & Recruiting. In addition to marketing, Lydia helps to recruit new students to join Tippie every fall. Lydia earned her BBA in Marketing (2002) and her MBA in 2010, both from the University of Iowa. She and her husband live in North Liberty with their daughter, a dog named Kitty, and a cat that thinks it's a person.