Six hundred Kellogg MBAs finished their first year of business school this past spring and went off into the workforce to start their summer internships. Some of them went into consulting. Others into banking and finance. And another group went to marketing, operations, general management and a variety of other positions. But no matter which industry people went into, most of them do have one thing in common. At the end of the summer, you have to make a final presentation to some level of managers regarding the work you did for the summer.
If anecdotal evidence isn’t good enough for you, then you could have also taken a look at Facebook to hear what the buzz was. To see what all your MBA friends were saying about work. I did just that this morning and saw a pretty wide variety of messages.
In one case I saw a message that said, “Today I have to present my final presentation. Wish me luck.” In another example, a status message said, “Working late hours to finish my presentation to my client.” Similarly, one of my classmates and friends working at Pepsi for the summer left a message on her wall “final presentation today!! Wish me luck!” Even at 9:49am she had 7 “likes” (including me) and 13 “comments”. A number of comments say “Good luck.” Others say “knock em dead.” And one even says, “You will amaze them with your brilliance, I am sure.”
So why so many responses to such a simple message? That’s a good question. It’s because most MBAs, especially those at top schools undergo the exact same experience. They have to present what they worked on at the end of the summer. And those final two weeks can be pretty difficult, depending on the employer, industry, and manager you are working with. Because in a lot of cases not only are the expectations high but the pressure people put on themselves is also high.
During that time, students often work harder to tie up loose ends. They put in more time to fine tune all the details. And they spend more time prepping to deliver a compelling presentation to senior management. All with one goal in mind – to get an offer.
In addition to getting an offer, many students also hope to refine their presentation skills, prove they can add value to an employer (even in two months), and even just make a good impression. After all, you never know if you’ll run into some of your summer co-workers again.
Either way, no matter what the reason is, once you finish your first year of business school and find yourself with an MBA summer job, there’s a pretty big chance you’ll be doing exactly the same thing.
In sum, for those that just finished their presentations over the past few weeks – congratulations! Well-done! And for those entering school now waiting until the summer of 2012 for a summer internship experience – get ready. Your time will come next summer.