Employers Want MBA Grads To Have Internships

Employment data on hiring college graduates were released last week. Because 50% of recent college grads are either under-employed or unemployed, results of these types of studies are widely anticipated.

Everyone seems to understand the importance of internships in college. However, last week’s study on Millennials brought renewed interest in and a need for further insights about the topic. I plan to cover more about internships starting with this post.

In a category called “Employer Internship Expectations”, the Millennial survey bore out the following facts:

1) 91% of employers think that students should have between one and two internships before graduating.

2) 87% of employers feel that internships should last at least three months for students to gain enough experience.

These data show absolute, if not universal, demand for internships by employers. According to Dan Schawbel, Founder of Millennial Branding who authored the study, “The expectation that having an internship can lead to a job no longer exists (it’s a reality). Employers should hire their interns into full-time positions to save recruiting and training costs.”

What’s missing is the fact that colleges and universities do not always set up internships on behalf of their students. Some colleges may help their students with internships, but their efforts are limited and selective. They certainly are not universal, not required and not inclusive to all students. And, even if they were set up this way, neither Higher Ed nor college students really know how to search for or find internships outside of their campuses.

I see this changing in the near future, but right now college studentsĀ need to be more self-sufficient. All of the opportunities I have been successfully involved with were set up as self-directed internships. This simply means that internships were lined up by families, friends and colleagues. They were developed independent of where the students attended college.

Given my profession and what I do, I have also been fortunate enough to build a professional partnership with Dave Flanders and John Flanders. The Flanders’ brothers know how to search for a job. Dave has been an executive recruiter for companies during the past 39 years. He has built real knowledge and expertise from working directly with hiring managers. He has turned a lifetime of job conversations and coaching interventions into a dedicated job-search class for college graduates. His brother, John, handles business operations and was a successful CEO himself who built and sold two businesses to Aetna and United Healthcare. The results of college students they work with have been nothing less than remarkable. Job placement rates are 100%. And, the lessons taught during the course of study are equally beneficial when directed toward internships.

Based upon all of the information available, internships are proving to be more important than jobs during a student’s first years of college. This is because internships lead to jobs. Without internships during the first years of college, jobs will be much harder to find when you graduate.

I will have more information on MBA careers, jobs and employment, along with details on the internship search class taught by Dave Flanders, in future posts.

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