Nihal Soni MBA student in building 210

Jessica Saari

Jessica Saari

VIU's internship program was an important component of the MBA program. It not only rounded out the completion of the MBA learning experience, but it also helped me to find an exciting employment opportunity at the end of my studies. 

During the MBA program, students learn a variety of skills and techniques that they can then use to go out and find an internship. Each student also gets an internship coordinator to provide support, advice, and great local connections in a variety of industries and post-education career types. The class component of the internship program taught me the importance of networking and informational interviews, which not only guided me on local opportunities and career ideas, but also ended up helping me secure my internship and post-MBA job. I researched a few firms that specialized in project management and I used a technique I learned in class to "pitch" my skill-set to them. One firm then created an internship position around what I could offer and what I wanted to learn.

During my internship, I worked to network with people internal to the firm and was open about my employment needs after the internship. I did an informational interview with one of my supervisors, who then connected me with the CEO of the parent company for an interview. I was offered a contract after my internship in a newly created position at the parent company, which was again created around my skills and experience. I not only gained valuable experience in my internship, but I am now in a position even better suited to what I wanted for my career.

You truly get what you give in an internship. Internships provide you with the opportunity to develop new, valuable skills and to apply what you've learned in the MBA. But they can also help you to break into new career fields with little or no experience, and to develop network opportunities and contacts. The VIU internship program provided me with the tools to enter into an industry that I had little specific experience in, grow my network and experience, and get a job offer.