Can I Get Real World Experience While In Business School?

by Jaineel Aga

This chapter is a free excerpt from The Best Book on Getting Consulting Jobs In India.

Most good management programs offer some coursework that simulates a real-life consulting experience. Many have a practicum where companies like Walmart or a Cisco are partnered with the program, and your team helps solve a particular problem for a particular division of that company. That experience is itself a real-world consulting experience.

Partnering with a company to help solve a  business problem is very common example of university-industry partnerships, especially if your master's program is associated with a business school, in which case it's almost guaranteed that you're going to have at least one course that offers this experience. At Duke, it was an extremely popular option that many people took. Most people used this as a bullet under their "internship" experience. It made up for the lack of business-related work experience on their resumes and made a great talking point during consulting interviews. Remember to prioritize such coursework over more theoretical courses while selecting your course mix during your graduate program.

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Most good management programs offer some coursework that simulates a real-life consulting experience. Many have a practicum where companies like Walmart or a Cisco are partnered with the program, and your team helps solve a particular problem for a particular division of that company. That experience is itself a real-world consulting experience.

Partnering with a company to help solve a  business problem is very common example of university-industry partnerships, especially if your master's program is associated with a business school, in which case it's almost guaranteed that you're going to have at least one course that offers this experience. At Duke, it was an extremely popular option that many people took. Most people used this as a bullet under their "internship" experience. It made up for the lack of business-related work experience on their resumes and made a great talking point during consulting interviews. Remember to prioritize such coursework over more theoretical courses while selecting your course mix during your graduate program.

My school has no such option--what do I do?

This is a very legitimate problem that many students face; they may have picked a program that is too technical in coursework or a school that doesn't have good industry partnerships.  Leverage your summer and winter breaks to get some sort of business-related work experience.

Working part time on a startup venture for 3 hours a week say, for example, managing the marketing strategy  for www.indianconsulting.org is something that you could leverage as real-life business experience! It's all about searching for something that can fill the vacuum in your resume or coursework.
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