MADISON, Wis. (11/18/09)--MBAs, or business school students, can provide fresh perspectives to credit unions through summer internship programs, according to the Filene Research Institute in a recent paper. The paper, “Credit Unions as Employers of Choice for the New MBA: A Report on the Filene Summer Fellowships,” by Ben Rogers, Filene Research director, tracks seven students’ experiences interning at credit unions nationwide during the summers of 2008 and 2009. Credit unions who hire business students can give the students projects to work on without having to pay for an outside consultant or vendor, and they can attract top-level talent without committing to a new hire. Hiring an MBA also allows them to gather insights outside of the credit union system, and improve mid-level succession planning by building relationships with potential managers. “Business students’ growing interest in public service, non profits, and social responsibility provides an opportunity--perhaps fleeting--for credit unions,” the paper said. “Even institutions that don’t have a full-time position to offer a summer MBA intern can receive real value from bringing a fresh outside view to priority projects.” Credit unions seeking to hire MBAs should:
* Send leaders. Summer fellows were impressed by attention from senior vice presidents and other senior leaders in the recruiting process. A recruiting call to the prospect from the CEO will differentiate the credit union. * Offer meaningful projects. Offer a project that can be accomplished during a summer stay, and give the student an opportunity to present it to senior leaders and the board of directors. Prepare a written timeline of tasks and responsibilities before the intern lands, suggested Diana Dykstra, CEO of San Francisco Fire CU. * Move quickly. Small organizations should be nimble, so offer phone and in-person interviews in quick succession. Employers typically interview in January and February, and students receive internship offers by early March. If the process takes longer, students perceive a lack of interest and professionalism. * Emphasize uniqueness. Peers at Fortune 500 companies will be just one among many, while credit unions can offer MBA interns a key place and high-level work much more quickly.
The report also includes interns' perspectives and insight into some of the projects they worked on over the summer at their credit unions. For more information, use the link.