Editors Note: It’s MBA internship season! To guide MBA interns through their internship process, MBASchooled is doing a series on how to rock your MBA Internship. Next up is our interview with Andrew Kritzer, an Analytics Manager at LinkedIn, and graduate from the University of Virginia (Darden)
MBA students across the country have begun their MBA internships. Whether it’s at an established consulting firm or a early stage startup, students everywhere are hard at work not only serving on behalf of an organization but also trying to determine if they want to have a future in the company, role, or function they are interning in for the summer.
Many (but not all) students go in with the hope of receiving a full-time offer after the internship ends, but regardless of whether or not the offer comes succeeding in an internship is more than just completing tasks and doing what you’re told.
Recently, Andrew Kritzer, an Analytics Manager at LinkedIn/former MBA graduate, conducted a study with some of his LinkedIn colleagues about internship employment outcomes. A few examples of what they found:
Some industries offer and convert more interns than others – Some industries (consulting) are known for offering and converting interns to full-time. Others (VC) are not.
The more networking, the better chance for an offer – LinkedIn found that in 2014, MBA interns who connected with 20+ colleagues in the same year as their internship were more than twice as likely to return to their company full-time.
MBA students are told and trained that networking is important. However, successfully networking is a skill that does not come easy. To get some further insight on the research and to understand how to network, we talked to Andrew to hear what he thinks will help an MBA intern be successful in his or her networking activities.
On how to build relationships in a short window of time
MBA internships are only 10-12 weeks, which sometimes makes it difficult to build long-lasting relationships. To combat this Andrew suggested to start with other MBA interns. He said, “they’ll become your network within the company if you decide to rejoin, plus an additional set of contacts outside of your own b-school friends.” Andrew also suggested to ask for introductions to people that are outside of your immediate project, group or to a senior leader. He went on to add, “Reaching out might seem awkward, but an introduction builds upon the introducer’s existing relationship.”
Start with the basics
When Andrew was an MBA Intern, he focused on the basics. He encourages interns to connect on LinkedIn right after you meet with someone. “Working at LinkedIn, it’s pretty typical to connect after meeting with a colleague.”
Furthermore, he suggested that MBA interns start with Alumni from their MBA program. He shared how a fellow Darden Alum started full-time on the same day that he started his internship. “We were able to bond over our shared experience and discover how to navigate the company at the same time.”
Be Memorable (in a good way)
As an intern and full-time employee at LinkedIn, Andrew has seen his fair share of great networkers. One of them is Derek Pando, a former MBA intern and now Product Marketing Manager at LinkedIn. “Derek made a video documenting our summer internship at LinkedIn. He captured everything from the working environment to a boat ride in the San Francisco Bay. It was a natural way to meet people, learn about their functions, and give everyone a souvenir to round
out the summer.”
Never stop networking
Finally, Andrew encouraged interns to keep up the networking, even after the internship. In his role now as a manager on LinkedIn’s Economic Graph team, Andrew still refines and builds his network on a daily basis. “As an intern, I was working on a number of projects that resulted in a strategy recommendation to a single product leader or executive. As a full-time employee, I’m in more of an operator role. This means executing on strategy by leveraging relationships with marketing, communications, policy, engineering, sales, legal and finance.”
Internships are great opportunities to discover if an industry or function is for you, but also, it’s a great way to learn how to network.