Summer has arrived and Tippie first-year MBAs are in the beginning of their valuable internship experiences. From the beginning of the program, Annie Leonhart kept her top priorities in check: her career development and the job search. Her motivation in these areas has led to opportunity and growth – and she’s just getting started.
In the beginning weeks of the MBA program, there is a considerable amount of information thrown at first-year students and it can be easy to get lost in the details. My MBA job search and career development were top priority for me, so meeting with Tippie’s Career Services team to help navigate my search was important.
I made internship research and applications a regular weekly assignment from the second week of school. Once I got started, I found the task to be fun! I took the advice of Career Services, scouring lists of internship postings, attending a career fair, reaching out to alumni, and applying to postings with companies that were visiting campus. I attended all on-campus company presentations and was selected for a few on-campus interviews. While continually building connections, I also utilized my existing network by picking the brains of Career Services and Academy staff, alumni, and fellow students.
Brainstorming with Career Services and the Marketing Academy director introduced me to industry and job possibilities I would not have discovered myself. I reached out to companies where I had connections and applied “cold” to companies that I liked, but had no connection with. Not surprisingly, I got the greatest mileage by networking with Tippie alumni, who went out of their way to help me.
It was my connection with alumni at United Stationers that helped me secure an internship there this summer. I am looking forward to practicing my strategic marketing abilities (many of which I learned in class this year) in an environment that encourages growth and opportunity. I want to work on an impactful project that offers me a sense of ownership of my work – I believe United Stationers can provide that.
My advice for incoming first-years about to embark on the MBA job search: Start early and take your time, so that you can be selective and not pressured to just “find an internship.” Talk to as many people as you can and ask them what it’s like to work at their company: culture, management, work load, advancement opportunities, and all the things that you can only find out by talking to a current or former employee. You may find a company of interest that you never would have looked twice at on paper, or you may find out that your dream company would be a terrible fit for you.