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Finding the Right Internship


One of the most daunting tasks facing current MBA students is the challenge of finding an internship. Not only do you have to mingle with companies to find one that you think is a good option, you then have to make a decision regarding which will be the best fit. When choosing an internship, you must think about your role preference while simultaneously considering many other factors. In my internship, I was caught between finding my ideal role while balancing my personal goals for the internship.

I originally had my dream company pinpointed when I started school in August, but as I did more research, I found out that it was not a great fit. I then had to face a decision on where I wanted to be located. I was originally hoping to end up in Minneapolis, Seattle, or anywhere in the Pacific Northwest, but as I looked into the opportunities at career fairs and online, I soon discovered other excellent opportunities that were not in my desired geographic location.

One of my business mentors warned me as I was searching to not only go for the “glitzy” or seemingly “fun” opportunities because there are many others out there that are quite easy to overlook, as many people are searching for specific roles, leaving many wonderful opportunities open for people who might be more open-minded and flexible about geographical preference or even company preference.

As I continued my search for an internship, I had the opportunity to visit Hormel Foods for an interview at corporate after I had a campus interview followed by a phone interview. Although the location did not meet my initial criteria for my internship, I began to fall in love with the company. Their honest values and the longevity of career opportunities due to a “promote from within” mentality began to help shift the way I viewed my ideal internship. The internship which they later offered me was such an excellent opportunity. They truly offer their interns a hands-on learning experience where they will have the opportunity to interact with the executives within the company while working on projects that will add value to the company.

As I evaluated my options, I became less concerned with items that had originally stifled my search, such as geographic location, pay, companies I perceived as my “ideal” companies, etc. and focused more on the value each opportunity brought to me. I began to understand what a wonderful opportunity was in front of me, and I am thrilled to share that I have accepted my internship offer from Hormel Foods for International Marketing this summer. Not only does this opportunity provide me with a summer internship, but it also gives me the opportunity to interview for job opportunities at the end of the summer so I can potentially go into my last year of school having a job secured post graduation.

Andrea Puterbaugh

First-Year MBA