How to Hire an MBA Intern

A recent email exchange between the Seedcamp teams focused on how to involve MBAs in a startup. A man with particular experience on this topic is Mohammad, CEO of Patients Know Best, so for the benefit of the community we decided to publish his insight below.

“Like everyone you want to work with, the most important thing to think about is what you can do for them. So, thinking like an MBA student, each has 100k of debt looming. What they want the most is a 100k job, which none of us can hire them for. Instead, you must help them get that job. And that means:

  • Giving them a good referee – I always say early in the conversation that I take pride in giving good references and helping people who help me. Spell it out because it is on their mind.
Giving them a good interview story – pick a self-contained project that they can describe clearly and say that they owned it, and they delivered something important.
Give them a prestigious employer on their CV – for most start-ups this is impossible, but we have Seedcamp, which means we have great credibility, and the student can make the case that getting the internship is prestigious achievement.

To find the students, get yourself invited as a speaker (for example if you start-up made server monitoring software, track down the technology society president and say you want to present about trends in the technology industry). You should also make very good friends with the administrator for the MBA projects so that they can include you in the year’s graded project propsals.

The job to give them should be one you are terrible at (in my case, market analysis, whatever that means) but requires intelligence and hard work. And finally, do not forget what an incredible network each of them has from their previous jobs, and their fellow students. If you need to get to someone, the MBA students can help make it happen.”

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