What value can it add to your career?
Catherine Merlo, Sustainability Strategy Consultant at Dissing + Weitling is now implementing the strategy that she masterminded during her MBA internship.
As Catherine explains, “I knew I wanted an internship that could help me strengthen my career narrative.” While she didn’t go into the placement expecting to land a full-time position, Catherine impressed during her internship and with the strategy she created for the company.
While she didn’t go into the placement expecting to land a full-time position, Catherine impressed during her internship and with the strategy she created for the company.
“At the time I did not see any possibility of converting this into a job as such,” Catherine elaborates, “and that was largely because of how I entered the relationship. I saw this as external consulting and as an opportunity to bridge non-profit Arts with an applied Arts-for-profit business into a sustainability job function elsewhere.”
“My internship host and I really created a relationship that allowed for that attitude,” she continues, “so I while I was embedded in the company, I wasn’t working on any additional projects but was instead an external consultant. Yet within that I was still able to develop relationships and so now I am an internal consultant tasked with implementing the strategy that I created.”
“Of course, it’s more than that,” Catherine adds, “I’m driving a change process and I’m doing business development now, so I think even though I went in with a very fixed idea of what the internship would be, it still allowed for conversations to happen and relationships to be built that could springboard into other opportunities.
Do you have to speak Danish?
CBS boasts an internationally diverse group of participants and Andy, MBA Admissions Manager, addresses what can be a consideration for some: “The short answer is no, you don’t need to speak Danish. And the long answer is, it depends on the company.”
As Catherine adds, “When I was hired there was a little bit of an expectation that within 18 months, I would be speaking Danish at least semi-professionally in the office, but I’m not fluent as yet.”
“That said,” Catherine continues, “You have to have a level of patience, humility and awareness that integration is a really strong value here in Denmark and so yes, it’s completely possible to not speak Danish. For example, there’s nothing about me not being fluent that impedes on me being able to do my job, being welcomed or being included in the office culture – however, the longer you choose to stay, the more of an imperative it is that you can communicate in the Danish language.”
When it comes to more specific fields such as the consultancies, as Maria explains, “The corporate language in those companies is English, so speaking Danish is not a factor at all.”
Does the internship have to be directly related to whichever concentration you choose?
In addition to the core modules, participants get the opportunity to pick an elective during the final term and deep dive into a subject that is especially interesting or that will support career aspirations. “This is where you get a chance to personalise the programme,” Andy adds.
And as Maria explains, “The internship doesn’t have to bear exact relation to the concentration you choose at all. It’s designed for you to have the freedom to cherry pick which areas you want to gain more professional development in, but what’s important is that you look at what the concentration should provide in terms of where you’re looking to go career-wise, and then consider how the internship also fits within that. But they don’t need to be aligned in terms of topic, rather it’s just important that the whole picture adds up with respect to where you’re looking to go after you graduate.”
A popular choice
As Maria says, “While the internship is still relatively new (this year will be the third time that students have the option) we see more and more participants take it up each year. In fact, we’re nearing 100% of students taking the internship now per cohort.”
“While it’s still a little early to say,” Maria adds, “It’s increasingly evident that the internship does provide students with the practical experience on their CVs that they can then take with them, which will do wonders when job searching.”
“We undoubtedly see the benefit of it which is why we’re so keen on supporting our students to find the right internships.” Says Maria.