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Nobody Said It Was Easy

Posted by: Jenny

For
first year students at London Business School, December to June
is internship hunting time. Now halfway through the process, here’s my rather
candid take on what it’s been like:

NOVEMBER: Career
Services keep on talking about preparing for internship applications. We shrug
and think to ourselves summer is too far away. We travel, meet people, go to
parties and of course go to class (not in that order). Meanwhile, our CVs get
slighted, butchered, and then resurrected—all in a good way—by Career Services.
We feel invincible; life is good.

DECEMBER: Applications
for Asian offices of the bulge-bracket firms become due. We hastily write
our Cover Letters and submit 6 applications in a day. We go on our Christmas
vacation and internships are relegated to the back of our minds.

JANUARY: We come back from
vacation all suited-up. At the Corporate Partners Week, we elbow our way to the
side of the bosses from Goldman and McKinsey and ask them intelligent
questions—the same questions we will ask the bosses from Morgan Stanley and
BCG. Meanwhile, we still aren’t sure what we 
really want to do
so we follow the crowd and submit our applications to all the biggest companies
in the market.

FEBRUARY: Companies
start shortlisting interviewees or—to put it another way—they start sending out
rejection letters. At interviews, we proclaim our love for our potential
employers while at the Windsor we proclaim ourselves as the King (or
Queen) of Dings (TM by Mayank & Co.). We start philosophizing the meaning
of rejections in life as Career Services assures us that job offers peak in
April and May so we should not lose hope. Meanwhile, we act on our Plans B and
C (and D) and apply to all job postings in the Portal—much like throwing wet
paper towels onto a wall and seeing (hoping) that at least one would stick.

Now
it’s still February so I have to end my errr….narrative here. Some of us have
been fortunate to land positions—which might be not our first choice, but we’re
grateful nonetheless. Some of us are still riding it out but regardless of the
stage we are in the process, one thing’s for sure: this internship hunt has so
far been exciting, quite stressful and surprisingly self-revealing. (In my
case, I’ve learned that I need to read the FT and the Economist more. That and
that I’m more likely to land a job in finance than in the non-profit sector.
But that’s an entirely different story altogether.) In any case I’m still
hoping that in my next blog I would say something in the lines of, March,
April, May:
 Everyone gets offers for their dream jobs and we all live happily
ever after. Riiiight. I’ll keep you posted on that.

________

Having
said that, there actually IS life beyond internship applications.

One
of the good things about doing your MBA is the many opportunities you get to
meet bigwigs from big companies. The FMCG Summit on the 25
th of
February is a good example. The conference boasts of speakers from established
companies such as Johnson & Johnson and Unilever and other interesting
companies such as Sense Worldwide and Dunnhumby. Alan Moore, author of
Communities Dominate Brands, will come to speak as well. Conferences like this
are good opportunities to network with leaders, alumni and students and you never
know – it might be your lucky day and a conference just might lead to a golden
job offer.

________

And
then there are the exchange programmes. To apply, we have to submit by March 1
st a
500-word essay for each school we’re interested in (maximum of 3) and we have
to convincingly write why Columbia, Chicago, or whichever school we have our
eyes set on, is right for us (it’s like MBA applications all over again). I’ve
been working on my essays and here are my top 7 reasons (7, not 10 because I
can only think of 7 – you probably have more) why I want to go on exchange to Columbia (and
no, these will not go into my essay):

7.
It doesn’t rain as much in New York.

6.
I want to do the cheesy Sex and the City tour.

5.
I need a break from fish and chips.

4.
American TV shows.

3.
They call their tomatoes 
to-may-toes and not to-maa-toes.

2.
They sell kebabs and hotdogs outside the school.

And
the number one reason why I want to go on exchange to Columbia is…

1. If you’re at the TOP there’s
nowhere else to go but down (to the next best thing). Oh yeah. 

One Response to “Nobody Said It Was Easy”

  1. avatar Spiros says:

    cool post Jenny, thanx:)

    So, as a way of feedback, how did the internship quest go? And most importantly, how was the Int. Exchange experience (whether at Columbia or elsewhere:). Am applying next year for a 2012 start (hopefully!)

    Thx again for the insights + hope everything has worked out for u!!!

    Spiros