As the second half of the spring semester gets underway, internship offers for first year students have been pouring in. Melanie Jordan shares how she landed her internship with American Express.
Before stepping foot on campus, I knew from Tippie Career Services and students that attending a national MBA career fair in my first year was an important step in getting a great internship. The National Black MBA Association (NBMBAA) Fair was in Atlanta, and since it had a good reputation for attracting a large number of good MBA employers, I choose to attend that one in October.
Prior to the fair, I spent a great deal of time on the career fair website applying for internships with companies planning to be at the conference. Through these efforts, I was able to secure a couple interviews before leaving for the fair. Once at the conference, I was invited to interview with other companies where I had made some connections.
While I had success in getting interviews at the NBMBAA career fair, I also took advantage of on-campus interview opportunities. I applied for roles through Tippie’s online posting system and was selected to interview with some employers visiting campus. Preparing for those interviews was great because I was able to easily connect with my peers who were also interviewing to help me better understand the company before going into the interview. I also attended the presentations hosted by the on-campus companies to learn about the organization and what they were looking for in an intern.
The best way to excel in interviews is to remember and practice your stories. Write them down, use a memory trick, something! Many times I have ended up telling a story about some project I worked on that I would have never thought would be on my “interview story” list. But on days where you are doing several interviews in the same day with a company and you need a lot of examples, it is really helpful to have a deep set of examples to share.
My other advice for future Tippie MBAs is to start the search early. Learn about the job search before you come to campus and take advantage of the national career fairs by applying to the job site before you attend.
I accepted a marketing internship in the Global Corporate Payments group at American Express as a result of my success at NBMBAA. I am really excited about all of it (the company, spending the summer in New York, the job), but I am most excited about meeting new people. American Express does a lot of MBA recruiting, so in addition to all of the other interns, there are a lot of MBA grads that I will hopefully be able to form relationships with and learn from.