Summer Internship? No Thank You...

by , Jun 25, 2010

The following is a guest post by Andre, a current MBA student and a blogger for The Dirt. Andre is writing a series for Beat The GMAT to share a bluntly honest perspective of life in business school. Beat The GMATs editorial staff purposely left his article in its original raw (and entertaining) form. With out further ado, here is Andre:

Well Well Well! Long time no see! Sorry for the lack of updates, but ive basically been in 5 cities in the past month and well...more details on all of that later.

So its summer, and most MBA students are slaving away at a summer internship. For those of you who dont know, almost every MBA student kills themseles from Christmas to June looking for an MBA summer internship (which is very hard to get in this economy). Remember my previous posts about me stressing over finding an internship? Its tough out there to say the least, and its very frustrating. Worse still, is when you cant actually FIND an internship, which then raises feelings of rejection, doubt, and just an overall "Bleh" feeling. Hey guys, i know, ive been there.

However, what I am going to tell you right now is completely contradictory to what every MBA program tells you, but im just going to go ahead and say it. Ready?

Summer internships are overrated.

I know, blasphemous, right? Every MBA school counselor will tell you the exact opposite. "Take whatever you can get! It looks good on your resume!"

Sorry career counselors, but i call bullshit. What good is an MBA internship if its not something your passionate about? I know so many people who got internships because "I need to pay rent!" (fair enough) or, worse, "I have nothing else to do so i might as well get an internship at Bobs Widget Factory". I think this line of thinking is completely flawed. Why would you just take an internship in a company that you weren't interested in working at after you graduate, or in something that you are only doing for the money? I thought the purpose of going to school was to open more doors for yourself, not wedge yourself into a proverbial corner, career wise.

Now don't get me wrong, if you found an internship at a company in a field that you are really excited about going into, then more power to you! Thats awesome! But about 50% of the people i know took jobs just because it was there, which is, quite frankly, sad. Or worse yet, they're doing unpaid internships! (see my previous rants about unpaid internships).

What am I talking about? What am i smoking? "Your being an idiot, a job is a job" you say. Okay, fine, but let me tell you what I, the internship-less bumb, have planned for summer versus what my fellow MBA graduates are doing. So far, I have traveled all over California (from San Diego to San Francisco), through the east coast, am doing research for a professor so that I can possibly graduate with honors, and since I had no real plans for summer, I signed up for a program through my university to study the Greek Debt crisis abroad in Germany for a whole month while getting school credit. let me reiterate that last sentence in case you weren't paying attention.

I get to go to a completely different country (on the cheap, i might add, since its an exchange program) to study finance for the summer.

Yeah, i might be broke (im still using financial aid money from this last semester), but hey, at least im not at some summer internship that's miserable or isn't paying me. Im pretty happy with my summer plans.

And isnt it said that happiness leads to money, not the other way around? Ok, well maybe i just made that up, but i stand by it. Plus, ill have plenty of other summers in my life to spend working, might as well enjoy my graduate school experience while I can :). Until next time...