GUIDE TO HIRING AN MBA INTERNTHE VALUE OF AN MBA INTERNAnalytical and rigorous thinking is the hallmark of the Wharton MBA. The curriculum is practical, currentand applicable, and our MBA students go on to become leaders in a variety of fields and disciplines. Thestudents’ diverse coursework and experiences prepare them to solve the range of business problems theywill face as leaders and make decisions based on data and sound reasoning. Employers consistently providethe feedback that Wharton students have the right combination of analytical skills, strategic thinking, and aget-it-done approach that makes a real impact on organizations.MBA students have an opportunity to complete an internship between their first and second years of study(between May and August), which allows them to gain practical experience in their area of interest. Hereare some of the benefits that MBAs can bring to employers who hire summer interns:ADD VALUE TO ESTABLISHED & NEW ORGANIZATIONSWharton students have joined companies ranging from early-stageventures to global conglomerates, shaping their own internshipsor participating in more structured programs. Companies withoutformalized MBA intern programs benefit from students’ ability toself-initiate work that aligns with the direction of the company andcheck meaningful projects off the to-do list.CONTRIBUTE MEANINGFUL WORKWith an average of five years of work experience, a Wharton MBAintern is capable of doing demanding and creative work during thecourse of a summer internship, bringing new thinking and energywhile providing additional leverage to a team.SERVE AS CAMPUS AMBASSADOR FOR COMPANYMBA students who have good experiences with their summerinternship employer can provide word-of-mouth brand enhancement and act as ambassadors to the MBA population, creating“buzz” about professional opportunities at a company.BECOME A PIPELINE FOR FULL-TIME OPPORTUNITIESThe typical 10-12-week internship period provides an opportunityfor the company to assess a potential employee’s skills, talent andcultural fit well beyond a standard interview process. In addition,employers can cultivate those they would like to hire based on theintern’s performance.
INTERNSHIP STRUCTURE,POTENTIAL OFFERS &COMPENSATIONSTRUCTUREInternship programs may be structured ina number of ways and for varying lengthsof time. Some summer programs are moreformally structured than others, dependingon company resources. Regardless, thefollowing best practices are recommendedfor a positive summer internshipexperience for both the employer and thestudent: MEANINGFUL MBA-LEVEL WORK WITHTHE ABILITY TO MAKE AN IMPACTGive students project work that is similarto what a full-time employee would do,but within a 10-12 week timespan. Ideally,the intern will be working with a team andclosely with a manager on a project thatwill be integrated back into the companyafter the MBA completes the internship. BROAD EXPOSURE TO THEORGANIZATION AND SENIOR LEADERSOpportunities to learn about the companystructure, culture and people throughmeetings, shadowing, networking, andinteractions with senior leaders are highlyvalued. MENTORSHIP AND GUIDANCE OFEXPERIENCED PROFESSIONALSMentors and/or “buddies” at the firm canhelp interns learn about the firm and itsculture, answer questions, and serve as ageneral point person. Mentors tend to bemore senior managers who are formallytasked with supporting and checkingin with the MBA intern. “Buddies” aretypically employees who are only slightlymore experienced than the intern and canhelp the intern navigate the company. STRONG INTERNAL COMMUNICATIONAn organized welcome to an organizationcreates a strong and positive firstimpression. Summer interns, like otheremployees, will be most effective if theyare given clear expectations and goalsas well as guidance on the desired endproduct (e.g. presentation, submit areport, turn over a model, etc.). Informalfeedback should be delivered in “real time”throughout the internship, and formalfeedback should be given at the midpointto make sure the intern is on track.Students value feedback on how to improvetheir performance and makean impact.POTENTIAL OFFERSSome employers use their intern pool to filltheir full-time needs and intend to extendoffers at the end of the internship, whileother employers do not expect to makefull-time offers. For employers who are in a position toextend an offer to the intern to returnafter graduation in a full-time role, it isappropriate to write and send a formaloffer letter. The Earliest Decision Date foroffers extended after a summer internshipis the first Monday in November. (Moredetails on offer policies can be found onour website.) If the employer chooses not to extend afull-time offer to an intern, it is helpful tobring closure to the process by providingthe reasons why the intern is not beingoffered a full-time position and, whenappropriate, share suggestions forimprovement. If the employer is not prepared to makea full-time offer (due to not knowingfuture openings/head-count), sharing thelikelihood, process, and timeline for a futurefull-time opportunity is recommended.COMPENSATIONMany companies with establishedinternship programs will convert theannualized salary for a starting full-timeMBA into a weekly compensation for thesummer intern. Other companies will payhourly or give a stipend for the summer. Inaddition to salary, some companies offerother benefits such as a sign-on bonus,housing and/or relocation allowance.Current compensation statistics can befound on our website.The method of paying interns varies. Somecompanies add the intern to their payroll,while others pay them as temporaryemployees through a temp agency or ascontractors using a 1099 form.If a company is not in a position tocompensate a summer intern at theindustry benchmark, Wharton MBA CareerManagement recommends having an opendiscussion with the candidate on the valueof the experience that is being offered andthe reasons for compensation being belowthe median.GLOBAL INTERNSHIP COMPENSATION/ CREDITGlobally, internship regulations differ fromcountry to country. Some countries requirestudents to use their summer internshipas credit toward their degree completion.In this case, Wharton can help providedocumentation on the relationship betweenthe internship and academics. In the U.S.,some companies are not able to sponsorwork visas for international students. Inthis case, students may take advantageof school-sponsored Curricular PracticalTraining (CPT), which acts as employmentauthorization for a work experience thatis a required or integral component of thestudent’s program of study, and is at nocost to the employer.2
RECRUITING RESOURCESWharton’s comprehensive recruiting resources allow you to connect with current students on campus orfrom the convenience of your office. The Wharton MBA Career Management staff looks forward to helpingyou develop a customized recruiting strategy that meets your MBA hiring needs.JOB POSTINGSAND INTERVIEWSAfter you have prepared your writteninternship description, you may post it onCareerPath, our online recruiting system andcollect applications. Wharton also offers anonline searchable resume book databaseto help you identify talented candidatesfor your internship opportunities. Youmay interview on campus with a schedulecoordinated by your Relationship Manageror may choose to manage your own processoff campus. Video conference options forinterviews are also available.EMPLOYER EVENTSIf you decide you would like to visitWharton, building a brand for yourorganization through an on-campusor virtual event can be a first step indeveloping interest among students.MBA Career Management can facilitateyour participation in our on-campus oroff-campus events, such as EmployerInformation Sessions (EISs), NetworkingExpos, and coffee chats.STUDENT CLUBS ANDCONFERENCESWorking with student-sponsored clubs andconferences and participating in studentled educational or networking activities isanother opportunity to increase visibility ofyour internship opportunities.Contact your Relationship Manager for moredetails on recruiting resources.REC RUITING PO LIC IESFIRST-YEAR RECRUITINGEVENTS TIMELINEFirst-year targeted, single-firmRecruiting Events and EmployerInformation Sessions (EISs) may beginannually on the first day of Quarter 2.Please also note that companies maynot request first-year student resumesuntil the start of Q2.INTERVIEW TIMINGThe Focused Recruiting Period (FRP)typically begins in early January. Nointerviewing of first-year studentsmay occur prior the start of FRP; thisincludes both on- and off-campusinterviews. All interviews during FRP,excluding the dedicated secondround date, must take place inPhiladelphia to avoid schedulingconflicts. Interviews must not conflictwith academic schedules.Companies may conduct interviewseither at Career Management’sOn-Campus Recruiting Suite (OCRS) oroff-site at a local hotel. No recruitingevents (e.g., private events or dinners)can take place during FRP.EARLIEST DECISION DATESTo allow first-year studentssufficient time to consider variousopportunities, and to allow employerssufficient time to evaluate candidates,all employers are required to observea First-Year MBA Earliest Offer Date,which is the second Friday of FRP.First-year internship offers (verbal orwritten, accepts and declines) cannotbe made until this day.First-years must be given three weeksfrom the date of the written internshipoffer to make a decision. Studentscannot be required to indicateacceptance of an offer until a writtencommunication (e.g., mailed letter ore-mail) is received.3
IN T E R N S H I PT IM E L I N E E X A M P L EPRIOR TO ARRIVAL Inform office staff including HR,IT, managers and colleagues of theintern’s upcoming arrival by sharingthe intern’s name, background, datesof internship and assignment Assign a computer, access ID, email,and work station Prepare all necessary documents forwork authorizationWEEK 1 Begin on-boarding process, includingorientation to company, introductionsto team, other departments andleaders, training (IT, office protocols),important contact numbers, securityinformation, etc. Discuss project assignment, expectations, and performance managementprocess Intern begins workingWEEKS 2-5 Intern continues working Provide “real time” informal feedbackMID-INTERNSHIP EVALUATION Include a progress evaluation ofdemonstrated skills and any otherrelevant feedback Request feedback from the intern ontheir experience and other exposurethey would like to have during theremainder of their project Provide formal written and face-toface feedbackWEEKS 6-9 Intern continues workingFINAL EVALUATION Complete and transition projectto managers Share formal written and face-to-facefeedback on performance, skill sets,contribution, and other values of thecompany Did he or she meet/exceed theexpectations? Did he or she improve? How well does he or she fit thecompany?MBA PROJEC T EXAMPLESANALYTICS Analyzed monthly acquisition spend data tooptimize audience, creative and copy of campaignsin order to increase conversion and decrease costper subscription Performed user segmentation and built databased customer personas through model-basedclustering with demographic and behavioralvariables Conducted consumer research and interpreteddata to recommend changes to inventory mix, userexperience, operations and marketing Analyzed product assortment to developmerchandising strategy for new eCommerceplatform Evaluated prospective store locations byperforming regression analysis of demographic dataand creating statistical model Designed Excel optimization tool for quarterlytalent planning to increase executive genderFINANCE Developed a long-term revenue and gross marginfinancial model for business segment spanning sixgeographic zones Generated Series A investor deck for firstinstitutional fundraising efforts Created financial model and performed duediligence to evaluate potential acquisition target Analyzed offshore drilling sector and pitchedformal price recommendations Conducted deep-dive into financial technology,eCommerce, and software ideas; articulated theses,led primary research studies and presented findingsto portfolio manager Pitched six fresh investment ideas on regionalBanking, Telecom & Energy sectors, with short andlong-term catalystsOPERATIONS Developed detailed project proposal to assistinvestment process and increase firm efficiencies;oversaw analysis, approval, and implementation ofthe system Developed operations performance dashboardto track production/delivery timelines and identifyoperational inefficienciesBUSINESS DEVELOPMENT Conducted valuation analyses and definedstrategic rationale for new business developmentactivities Worked with head of business development toassess acquisition opportunities and evaluate newrevenue models Prepared study explaining blockchain technologyand its potential application in the industry forsenior executives Identified attractive expansion markets byanalyzing demographic, economic, and internetstatistics; created playbook for expansion into newlocations Conducted market opportunity assessment forpotential VR/AR initiatives, including market sizing,research on potential strategic partners and scopingMARKETING Designed new loyalty program based on customermetrics and buying behavior Analyzed international market and developedrecommendations for brand launch, includingmarketing, PR, and digital outreach to maximizeproduct value proposition Researched and analyzed company’s SEO strategyto diversify sources of traffic Developed 360 marketing plan targeting womenof-color, including recommendations for in-storemerchandising and events, education, sampling, andadvertising Led consumer insights research for Greater Chinabusiness and recommended marketing campaign,product development, andassortment strategiesPRODUCT MANAGEMENT Designed new monetization strategies forupcoming product based on competitor researchand market analysis Created list of product requirements throughcustomer interviews and market research; workedwith outsourced design firm on updated userinterface Conducted A/B tests on 3rd party vendors andselected tech partner for new product development Coordinated 12 design, engineering, marketing,and legal experts to define user requirements andbuild prototypes for initiative promoting crosssell of productsand allowing improved campaigndesigns4
STUDENT PERSPECTIVES ON A SUCCESSFUL INTERNSHIPInterns and employers are both seeking a successful summer experience. Students cite the following asimportant components of a positive internship experience: Broad exposure to the industry(particularly important to career switchers) Access to senior-level managers andseeing what they do Work that mirrors a full-time role Access to networking opportunitieswithin an organization and in thatparticular industry Mentors, whether formal or informal Opportunity to enhance technical skills Well-defined projects with end deliverable:presentation / report / modelFounded in 1881 as the first collegiate business school, the Wharton School ofthe University of Pennsylvania is recognized globally for intellectual leadership Use of classroom learning in aprofessional setting Engaged manager who deliversconstructive feedback in a timely manner Sense that the organization valued thestudent’s contributionsWharton MBA Career ManagementThe Wharton SchoolUniversity of Pennsylvaniaand ongoing innovation across every major discipline of business education.50 McNeil BuildingWith a broad global community and one of the most published business school3718 Locust WalkPhiladelphia, PA 19104-6209faculties, Wharton creates economic and social value around the world. TheSchool has over 5,000 undergraduate, MBA, executive MBA, and doctoral students; more than 13,000 participants in executive education programs annuallyTel 1. 215. 898. rs.wharton.upenn.eduand a powerful alumni network of 99,000 graduates.5
GUIDE TO HIRING AN MBA INTERN THE VALUE OF AN MBA INTERN Analytical and rigorous thinking is the hallmark of the Wharton MBA. The curriculum is practical, current and applicable, and our MBA students go on to be