Updated: Jul 8
Internships hold lesser importance to get into a B-school as compared to when you’ve joined a B-school. After joining, the companies that offer placements are more interested in the internships you did. This is because of multiple reasons:
Professors taking the interviews know what kind of internships are offered at the graduate level. Unless it is a technical project, you won’t be able to talk much about its value.
The application form (also called the interview form) doesn’t count internships as work experience (in most top B-schools in India), so the only resort for you to mention them is during the interview, the chances of which happening are dependent on the flow of the interview.
However, the companies while recruiting at B-schools ask for your CV, in which you can mention the internships done by you at the graduate level which will give you an edge over other candidates who haven’t.
So, as far as the internships are concerned, their value gets its due recognition post joining a B-school in most cases. A lot of candidates often ask:
"Should I do an internship in summers just before CAT or prepare for the exam?"
I can share my story and rationale for choosing a mid-way between these two options. I was weak at Quantitative Aptitude (QA). By May-end, I had covered the basics of most QA chapters, though I knew I was far away from scoring even a 90 percentile in that section in the mocks. So, in order to get better at it, I knew I had to put in more hours.
Suggested Reading: My CAT Routine
At that time, I was living in Delhi for my undergrad. As the summer vacation neared, I realized the need to visit my home, which for me was a peaceful place to practice the questions and strengthen my concepts. As far as internships were concerned, I had done 3–4 virtual internships in the winter before, all of them in social media marketing and content writing, which I knew weren’t presentable enough.
So, on one hand, I needed to prepare better and on the other, I needed to do an internship for the benefits it had post joining an IIM. I decided to look for an internship in my home town through personal contacts. It is a difficult catch since the place has very limited companies, but I felt something was better than nothing.
I found a company that offered me to learn by putting in 4–5 hours a day, 5 days a week. I was able to manage my study along with interning side-by-side. Honestly, it is not a lot of pressure if you have someone to refer you for an internship. So, if you get an opportunity to find such a mid-way (i.e. to go home to prepare and do an internship at your home town), go for it.
In case a mid-way is not possible, please go home or to a place where you can study better. The internship may or may not help you during an interview but, you can do an internship post the CAT exam when you have time at your disposal. Summers are crucial for your preparation, especially if you’re weak in a particular section like I was. Choose the right option, it'll pay off for sure!
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