The summer internship is a core component of the MBA experience on two-year, full-time courses. For many students, it is the traditional route to a high-paying job in the consulting and finance sectors. Internships are especially valuable for career-switchers who want to try their hand at a new role in a new sector or geography.
For the most part, business schools do a pretty good job of facilitating internship offers for their MBA candidates. School-facilitated hiring activities include job postings, on-campus interviews and alumni references.
In terms of industry choices, most MBA students went to work internships in financial services, consulting services and technology last summer, reflecting the higher pay in these sectors than alternative career choices. At some schools with entrepreneurial cultures, a fair chunk of the MBA class spent their summer working on their own business venture.
In the US, the overwhelming preference is for two-year MBA programs and most of the highest ranking American business schools offer students the opportunity for a summer internship in-between the first and second years of the MBA.
So we have focused this list on US schools, which have more readily available employment and salary data on their MBA interns than schools in other countries where shorter, sharper MBAs are the norm.
Columbia Business School has the highest-paid MBA intern nationwide, thanks in no small part to its base in New York, the global financial center. About 40 percent of the MBA cohort will intern in the finance industry. Overall, median monthly pay in the sector is $9,633, with the highest-paid MBA interns at Columbia receiving a hefty $20,000 monthly pay check to work in private equity.View School Profile
At Dartmouth Tuck, the median monthly pay for MBA interns is $10,200, with the highest-paid students earning $16,400. Most of the Tuck class — 32 percent — will go to work in consulting. The second most popular industry is financial services, where 25 percent of the cohort land internships.View School Profile
At Chicago Booth, 100 percent of those seeking a summer internship secured one last year. By far the largest industry destination was finance, where nearly 40 percent of the cohort interned in the summer. Median pay across all sectors was $9,600. The highest wages are to be found in general management positions, where the median monthly salary was $15,000View School Profile
At the Wharton School, 99 percent of students seeking internships reported job acceptances, with 12 percent of the MBA class interning at a startup company. Financial services was the most popular industry for summer interns at Wharton, but the highest median salary went to intern consultants who made $13,500 each month. Overall, the median monthly pay was $9,280.View School Profile
At Kellogg, 75 percent of internships were facilitated by the school, mostly though on-campus interviews, with 25 percent of internships student-initiated. The major industries chosen by Kellogg’s students to intern at were technology (27 percent of the class entered this sector), consulting (25 percent) and finance (13 percent). The highest median monthly salaries went to consultants ($13,500) followed by investment bankers and brokers ($12,500).View School Profile
The Boston Consulting Group hired the largest number of MBA interns at MIT Sloan last year, snapping up 33 students, followed by Amazon, which hired 25 summer interns. But, overall, most of the class went into finance (26 percent), though consulting firms like BCG paid the highest median salary: $13,500 on a monthly basis.View School Profile
At Haas in California, the largest share of MBA interns went to work in the technology industry, which snapped up 37 percent of the class, thanks in no small part to the school’s location close to Silicon Valley. Consulting paid the highest monthly median salaries ($11,436) followed by tech ($8,320) and real estate ($7,958).View School Profile
The majority of Yale’s MBA interns worked in consulting services last year (25 percent), followed by investment banking, where 11.6 percent of the class interned. Overall, 89 percent of the internships were in the US, mostly in the northeast where the median weekly salary was $2,308. Of those interning abroad, the vast majority (53 percent) worked in Asia, where median weekly salaries were $1,126.View School Profile
At Stanford, 87 percent of the class received a summer internship offer and 10 percent of the overall MBA class spent their summer working on their own independent venture. Stanford also offers a number of summer fellowships where students can work in developing economies and with social ventures. Total median compensation was $6,933 but interns in consulting made $13,700 and, in hedge funds, $10,717 per month.View School Profile
At USC Marshall in California, the majority of the MBA interns spent their summer in the technology sector, which recruited 32 percent of the class and paid them median monthly wages of $8,596. Financial services was the next most-popular intern destination with 19 percent of the class, followed by consulting, which paid the highest salaries: $11,092.View School Profile