All students in the 5th Year MBA program are required to gain relevant professional experience prior to graduation. The purpose of this requirement is two-fold. First, regardless of your career path, employers give preference to individuals with more experience. Second, the experiential learning that takes place in the work setting will significantly improve your classroom learning by giving you a practical perspective. Your professional experience will provide an opportunity for you to observe and practice the principles and tools you acquire in the classroom.
Type of Experiences
The professional experience requirement can be completed in one of three ways:
- A pre-approved internship.
- A pre-approved co-op experience.
- Approved current professional employment.
Appropriate professional opportunities can be found in virtually any type of professional environment: a small or large firm; a manufacturing or service company; a for-profit or nonprofit organization; a private, public, or government entity. In addition, professional work experience can take virtually any form: paid or volunteer; part-time or full-time; during school, or summer break.
Ultimately, the work experience must fulfill the following criteria:
- A minimum of 135 hours.
- Performed in a managed environment – in an office or location where the student directly reports to a supervisor, and as such, is able to learn more about business via interaction and delegated responsibility.
- Involves professional duties that allow the student leadership opportunities, the ability to use creativity to improve processes, professional interaction, and the opportunity to contribute to the success of the organization.
While most work involves manual tasks (such as running a copy machine or filing), it is expected that the fulfillment of the “professional experience” requirement should primarily involve duties other than manual or repetitive tasks. Approved internships should not consist of more than 30 percent manual tasks.
Pre-approval and Registration for Internship Experience
Students must seek pre-approval of the work to be performed by submitting a completed Professional Experience Approval Form to the Assistant to the Dean – Career Development. A job description reflecting professional objectives must be attached to this form. We strongly suggest that students enrolled full-time in coursework limit internship work to 20 hours per week.
Steps to Follow
Before completing experience requirement:
- Secure a professional experience position (internship, co-op, or professional employment) that meets the identified criteria.
- Complete the Professional Experience Approval Form (Detailed instructions for completion are included with the form.)
- Meet with the Assistant to the Dean – Career Development, Katherine Dues (SB 105, firstname.lastname@example.org) to submit completed Professional Experience Approval Form.
After completing experience requirement:
- Obtain from employer a signature on Professional Experience Approval Form to signify completion of professional experience and a completed Employer Evaluation of Professional Experience Form. Submit both forms to the Assistant to the Dean – Career Development, Katherine Dues (SB 105, email@example.com).
- Submit a completed Student Evaluation of Professional Experience Form to the Assistant to the Dean – Career Development, Katherine Dues (SB 105, firstname.lastname@example.org).