There’s no denying the tremendous value, an internship adds to your profile – the experience of working in a professional environment, a glimpse into how a full-time job in the same domain looks like, networking, building a strong resume and the prospect of landing a PPO!
However, an internship alone might not get you your dream Finance/Marketing job. Recruiters want you to be job ready and to get the ball rolling from the word ‘Go’. This would naturally impact the way Recruiters look at your profile during placements. A candidate with value adds over and above a summer internship will get preference. Everyone has a Summer Internship on his/her CV, after all.
Here’s how you can add value to your CV, beyond a Summer Internship.
At least one, preferably 2 certifications during your MBA – specializing in the domain/role you are intending to join in. Make sure that the certification equips you with functional job skills, rather than conceptual knowledge. Other crucial parameters to consider, before choosing the best certification , are covered in this article.
2. B-School Competitions:
The peer-learning, competition with B-schoolers across India, innovation, exposure, not to mention the value you add to your CV – B-School competitions are invaluable. From the FLIP National Challenge – India’s largest Finance contest for B-Schoolers, to HUL’s LIME – a prestigious competition for B-schoolers aspiring a career in Sales & Marketing, these competitions help you benchmark yourself against an All-India pool.
Here’s a list of 6 Best B-School Competitions – for every MBA student.
www.dare2compete.com is a good source to keep a track of B-School competitions.
3. Live/Winter Projects:
Beyond summer internships, a lot of companies offer live projects that one can work on during college. While these engagements might mostly be unpaid, the value of these projects on your CV & the knowledge you gain through this is priceless.
The biggest hurdle here is, how do you get such a live project? The best way to go about it would be through either of these channels: (1) Your Professors – Often well connected with the industry, they can get you access to decision makers, to get you the right projects (2) Immediate Alumni/Seniors: who have recently joined a firm, can relate to your need of a Winter Internship & have higher response rates; (3) Friends seeking internships & (4) Social Media: Connecting with individuals or groups on LinkedIn/Facebook can be a good way to prospect.
The Second hurdle is – expectation mismatch in terms of the role and project area chosen. Here are some points to choose the right winter project.
(1) Practical Exposure – The project you are opting for must complement the theoretical knowledge you gain through your academics. No point in having a project on your CV that doesn’t fit in with your academic skills
(2) Mentorship – The individual offering you the project must be keen to mentor you through the project period – rather than just offloading his/her work to you. The learnings from your mentor will be vital.
(3) Accessibility – With schedules haywire during college, set your commitments right – with respect to the number of hours/week you can dedicate towards the project.
4. Positions of Responsibility:
Student Councils, Placement committees, Finance and Marketing Clubs – an integral part of any management school. Highlighting the roles held & the initiatives taken as a part of these bodies can be an excellent way to display your initiative, on your CV.
5. Advanced Excel & Power point:
Under rated, but one of the most valuable pointers on your CV. Proficiency in Excel is not a good-to-have but a must-have skill for any management graduate.
And if you’re an aspiring Finance professional, you rely heavily on Excel not only for data formatting but also critical and complex business decision making.
A course in Advanced Excel/Power point will be great value add to your CV and your skill set. (Explore FLIP’s interactive Advanced Excel and Power point online course here)
Any queries/suggestions? Please drop them in the comments section below!