Business schools are going to greater lengths to connect their students to mentors and internships that can lead to actual investment banking jobs. It’s an important criterion to look for beyond the “hard” skills learned in finance courses that you might be wise to seek out when applying to a business school.
A recent article in the Independent highlights the latest trends at B schools in Britain. Alumni are no longer just a source of funding, but are being tapped for possible mentors for graduating students and for opening doors to internships at various firms.
Take the Westminster Business School, for example, which has a high proportion of foreign students, who may find landing a job in Europe particularly challenging. Westminster offers a mentoring program for foreign students that links students with volunteers with business experience, and helps students better understand the UK job application process.
At the London campus of the French business school ESCP Europe, students can participate in an intense training program on how to apply for a job. This program includes fine-tuning their resumes, a mock assessment center, and personalized video training of the interview process.
One area that can really give a graduate a leg up on landing an investment banking job is internships. Top employers often prefer grads with job experience, especially when it’s with their firm. Having worked in the industry also gives grads a better idea of what to expect on the job. For this reason, ESCP, for example, has built two separate internship periods into its masters in management degree program.
UK resident Joel Abrahams took a masters degree in European business at ESCP Europe, because he wanted to work in France. Through a connection at the school, he found an internship with the French bank BNP Paribas in Paris. He’s now working there full time in the bank’s corporate and investment banking arm.
The bottom line: in a competitive job market, students should choose a business school not just on its academic reputation, but increasingly on the career services which it provides. Does it offer interview training, access to alumni networks, and mentoring programs?
Did your business school offer an adequate amount of these services? Which B schools in the U.S. lead in this area? Add your comments below.