Darden Dean’s Advice for Summer MBA Interns

Whether you’re just diving into your applications, or starting an MBA program this fall, it’s never too early to start filing away expert advice that will help you knock it out of the park a year or two down the road. With that in mind, take a look at these tips on how to turn a summer internship into a solid job offer from Dean Robert Bruner of the Darden School of Business.

Building on the ideas behind Bruner’s prior post on the importance of closing the sale, the dean advises MBA interns to leave a lasting impression about who they are. While you may have already convinced an employer of your competence and skills on the job, economic realities confirm that it’s still a buyers market, and employers have to believe you are the best fit for the organization.

In short, to get a job offer, you must not leave your employer guessing about who you are; what you stand for; and the extent to which all this is congruent with the values and culture of the firm.

Bruner urges MBAs to be truthful about themselves, and also to think about what your listener might be interested in learning about you that somehow makes a connection with the company. “Based on your summer internship, what seems to matter most to this firm and its competitors?” he asks. “What about who you are would be most relevant to the things that matter?”

Next comes the delivery. The choice to use “I am” statements or employ story-telling techniques is yours, and each has its merits. “If ‘I am’ statements are the blunt instruments of impression-making, stories are the stilettos: subtle, and highly effective,” Bruner says, adding that whatever you decide to say, make sure you don’t lose the opportunity to link who you are with the company you seek to join.

If you’d like to learn more about Dean Bruner’s thoughts on what to say and how to say it in order to turn that MBA internship into a job offer, read the complete post here.

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