One of the most immediate impacts of changing economic circumstances felt by MBA students this year has been in summer internships.
As students have seen summer internship offers dry up, business schools have looked for the appropriate response. University of California’s Haas School of Business, for example, launched a stimulus fund in support of summer internships.
Most recently, University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business has come out with a similar solution: the creation of a Business Consultant Corps.
Drawing on the school’s industry relationships, the Business Consultant Corps will provide students with a stipend to work on projects in a range of areas.
Students in the Business Consultant Corps will also attend weekly workshops and receive mentoring and coaching from faculty and Ross alums.
Ross dean Scott DeRue explained that “Most Ross students have secured and retained summer internships, but there are a number of students who have had their internship canceled due to the pandemic.”
Thus, the school “saw an opportunity to help our students gain valuable experience, while at the same time helping organizations that need support as they work to address the new and unforeseen challenges brought on by this global health crisis.”
At the same time, Ross is bringing a new “summer experience requirement” for full-time MBA students, who can meet the requirement with a six-to-twelve week “compensated or uncompensated practical experience” at “a variety of organizations, both within and outside of the U.S., doing a variety of work.”
The vagueness in that requirement is intended to flexibly accommodate students’ individual career paths.
Brad Killaly, Ross’s associate dean of Full-Time and Global MBA programs, emphasized that the new requirement had a twofold purpose.
In particular, he said that it “formalizes our belief at Michigan Ross that students greatly benefit from practical experience between their first and second year” while also “affirming our commitment to helping our students secure this valuable learning experience.”
With business schools like Ross and Haas stepping up to fill the gap in summer internships that COVID-19 has brought, it’s clear that the deep resources available to top business schools can provide valuable support to MBA students in times of uncertainty.
It’s no surprise, then, that admission to top MBA programs looks to remain highly competitive in upcoming admissions cycles.
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