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Poll: internships really do give you an ‘in’

Prospective students who view an MBA as a springboard to new industry sectors or jobs would improve their chances by completing an internship, a recent FT survey reveals.

According to almost 2,000 MBA alumni from the class of 2008 who responded to an FT poll in November 2011, those who undertook an internship as part of their programmes were more likely to change career paths. Of those who completed an internship, 92 per cent changed jobs and 69 per cent changed sectors. Among those who did not, these figures were 8 per cent and 12 per cent lower respectively.

It also took less time for those who did an internship – 72 per cent of respondents – to find employment after completing their MBA. While 75 per cent of those who completed an internship found employment within one month of finishing their courses, only 69 per cent of those with no internships were as successful.

A contributing factor was the fact that 63 per cent of interns were offered a position with the internship employer. It is therefore unsurprising that 85 per cent of alumni who completed an internship said the experience was important to their post-MBA career progression.

More than a fifth of those who did not do an internship regretted it, principally on the grounds that it would have been an opportunity to experience a different sector and role.

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The name game

What’s in a name? Quite a lot it seems. The MBA is one of the few globally recognised degree brands, but the letters stand for a lot more than a masters of business administration.

Apple’s MacBook Air is perhaps the most famous product to share the initials, but some in the US will be familiar with the Mortgage Bankers Association or the Monterey Bay Aquarium, not to mention another postgraduate degree, the Masters of Beef Advocacy, awarded by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. But possibly the furthest cry from the prestigious business degree is Scotland’s little-known charity, the Mountain Bothies Association, which maintains shelters in remote areas.

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