What Google wants, Google gets; and if you are a top performing MBA student, Google wants you.
More than 20 Macquarie Graduate School of Management (MGSM) MBA students were recently invited to a networking event at Google’s Sydney HQ.
Officially the event was to recognise the importance of women in business, the challenges they face and to showcase Google’s support for diversity. Unofficially, Google needs and wants access to MGSM’s top students for their highly sought after internship program.
The event was further evidence of the increasing two way competition for MBA Internships in Australia. The best students all want the best Internships while the best companies all want the best students.
Some of the country’s leading organisations have understood for a long time the value of an MBA and offer MBA-specific internships, including JP Morgan, PricewaterhouseCoopers and Dell. Sponsoring organisations benefit from the initiative and expertise of high-performing students. Successful interns often secure full-time positions.
According to JP Morgan the value of MBA interns is easy to quantify.
“If you have (or are studying towards) an MBA, there are a few things we know about you without actually having had the pleasure of meeting you,” the company said. “We know that you’re ambitious. We know that you’re at the top of your game academically. We know that you take your work seriously. And we know that you’ve taken the time and money to invest in your future.”
“Your MBA means that you’ll enjoy an accelerated career trajectory.”
For students an Internship means more than a few credit points and some pocket change.
MGSM MBA Rohan Vaz undertook an Intership with Nuplex and said the experience showed him how to put classroom learning into practice on real scenarios.
“My Internship with Nuplex was just the right thing to happen to me at the right time. It helped me leverage a set of skills I developed as part of the MBA and also gave me the opportunity to work with some industry stalwarts. Indeed a great learning experience.”
AT MGSM, the Internship is a formal subject – an intensive 10-week unit that is both challenging and richly rewarding. Successful participants work on a major strategic project in an Australian organisation – an exceptional opportunity to exercise new skills and experience the complex issues, competing pressures and different dimensions of business, first-hand.
Often the real-world problems dealt with during internships are incredibly intense.
Late last year, Melbourne Business School Career Services Associate Director David Tan was approached by the managing director of an Asia Pacific subsidiary of a global listed industrial multinational. Following a private equity takeover of his parent company, the MD was told he needed to double his revenues within two years and crack tough regional markets like Burma and Papua New Guinea.
Running a lean operation in Melbourne’s suburban fringe, the MD had little access to the Asia Pacific expertise he needed for a looming board meeting in Europe. Dave suggested a team handpicked from the September 2012 intake of full-time MBA students at MBS.
“We’re like a pack of wolves, sniffing out companies that are experiencing big challenges and transformations and big change programs. That’s where they need big pieces of work done by our MBA students.”
“There was a mechanical engineer who really got the product, an IT consultant, a pure strategist, and a finance genius,” Dave says. “I locked them in a room near the library and papered over the windows. They were done and dusted within six weeks.”
The team delivered the analysis the MD needed for his meeting.
“They did market entry analysis for Myanmar and PNG – their ports, infrastructure, their forecast growth, and any companies they should be looking out for from an M&A perspective. The MD has now been relocated to China to grow that market there. And two students got their next roles as a result of that work.”
In his discussions with employers, Dave – who comes from an executive search background – zones in on their pain points and nightmares to design projects and internships with impact.
While hiring budgets may be tight, many organisations have the budget to bring in some smart MBAs to work on something they’re struggling with, from analytics to new markets. In the past 12 months, MBS has organised internships and project work with companies including Johnson & Johnson, BHPBilliton, Citibank, MMG and Responsys, as well as not-for-profits.
For students, internships are the foot in the door in an employment market where up to 90% of jobs come from hidden networks rather than the open market.
“Students are in a bubble, studying very hard,” Dave says. “They tend to lose track of the need to unearth opportunities very quickly, so Career Services taps into that.”