MBA students experience the real world through internships

MBA students experience the real world through internships

Wilson, Laurie

When the MBA curriculum was redesigned last year, “practical experience, real-world application, and hands-on learning” surfaced as the primary needs of both students and corporations. As a result, the curriculum has added an optional summer internship that expands students’ opportunities for practical applications. Internships are often testing grounds where students can develop skills, enhance their marketability, and apply theoretical concepts. While on site, they can explore a company’s culture and work environment, and employers get the chance to test compatibility with limited economic risk.

The first block of internships took 30 MBA students to such companies as Full Sail, Merrill Lynch, Citibank-Hong Kong, the VHA, Old Navy, BPI, Pepsico, Paine Webber, First Preference Mortgage, First City Commercial Corporation, Ericsson, Zale Corporation, Enport.com, and Raytheon -just to name a few of the firms who participated.

Last spring, MBA students Dusty Traylor, Brad Almond and Charlette Stallworth participated in a knowledge management project for Ericsson, a telecommunications equipment and services company in Dallas, which led Ericsson’s human resources team to extend summer internships to all three. “During our internship,” says Traylor, “we assessed the present state of competence development in Ericsson’s Global Services North America organization. We interviewed the top executives to determine the organization’s competence needs and its vision of competence development. Using data generated through our interviews, we presented the general competence needs for the organization and made recommendations that would link competence development with the strategy of the firm.”

On the other side of the world, grad student Janet Man reviewed the marketing program of the Consumer Banking Division at Citibank-Hong Kong. “I developed a customer satisfaction survey for the marketing program. Although it proved to be impractical, the people at Citibank were very supportive of me and appreciated my new perspective.”

Meanwhile in Austin, grad student Trey Gulledge worked at Enport.com, an application service provider (ASP) to whom companies come for handling various risk management, trading, and back office issues on-line. “When my boss asked me to design and build a corporate website, I was a little intimidated because my technology skills were not the greatest. But in the end, when I saw that the website was up and running, and all the pages and forms worked, I was quite proud.”

Interns Dusty Traylor and Trey Gulledge are MBA 2000 candidates, and Janet Man is an MBA 2001 candidate. Laurie Wilson is director of Graduate Business Admissions.

Copyright Baylor University, Hankamer School of Business Fall 2000

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