Friday, April 1, 2011

Some Thoughts on Internship Seeking

Some of our first-year real estate MBA students share their impressions and experiences in our blog series Meet Our Current Students:

The spring semester has passed the halfway mark, and we are now busy seeking an internship besides continuing to work hard for our classes. Here I want to share some thoughts on getting prepared for an internship and summarize the resources we have as MBA students in Graaskamp Center.

Get polished. A polished resume is an essential first step. Graaskamp Center Assistant Director Sharon McCabe is a good resource that we can use. She went through my resume, helped me reorganize it and stimulated me in bringing out the shining points of my work experience. My mentor (an alum of the real estate program) was also very helpful to give me some good suggestions from the perspective of practical world. What’s more, I also talked with my communication coach from the School of Business about how to write a good cover letter. All together students are well prepared for the document work.

Start early. From the first day I joined the school, we were taught networking skills, and I believe that we should practice those skills and keep them in mind to find a good internship. The MBA eRecruiting Center, an online job placement tool, often has internship opportunities, even as early as the first semester. We can also broaden our search to the websites of companies we are interested in. Some large financial institutions start recruiting summer intern early in fall, and their deadlines are often end of November or December. So I think it’s a good idea to keep tracking the targeting company’s website and find out any updates on internship opportunities.

Reach out. The Graaskamp Center has all kinds of events that offer good chances to get connections and to find an internship opportunity. Last year I got to know an alumni whose company is enlarging its business in China. The alumni forwarded my resume to the company, and the company showed strong interest. Although it turned out they hired someone full-time instead, my resume was kept for future consideration. It never hurts to reach out and ask whether there is any opportunity.

It’s not easy to find a good internship, especially for an international student like me. But I will keep trying. I’ve learned a lot and will be learning so many more things talking with different professionals in the industry. I wish everybody good luck in seeking an internship.

Julia Xia is a first-year MBA student in the James A. Graaskamp Center for Real Estate. Formerly a real estate consultant and asset manager in Beijing, Julia graduated from Peking University with a bachelor's degree in finance and banking.

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