MBA’s, Internships and Start ups.

There’s a reason why firms pay top money for MBA interns from some of the top schools across Europe and the U.S. They’re worth it. So the question is… how can you capitalize on what large established companies such as Goldman and McK have known and used for years?

Well, here’s the good news. On average entrepreneurial interest in MBA programmes is high, and annually approximately 10{abb65e2b6815f549a727af2ea9f3a377a727ddc064972a198a74f88a6b766686} of MBA’s go off to start companies on their own or join start-ups. Figures differ from school to school and when approaching a MBA programme it’s advisable to see what the school specializes in. NYU Stern for example is known for Finance, whereas IE in Madrid is known for Entrepreneurship.


That said, get involved with the school, call up the school’s entrepreneurship club, see what activities they have planned and see if you can participate. MBA’s are hungry to know what the life of an Entrepreneur is like, some of the trials and tribulations you’ve gone though, issues that you’ve had with acquiring funding and so on and so forth.

If you’re and earlier stage entrepreneur MBA’s are a fantastic source of critique when it comes to your business model.You can often have them analyze it, dissect it, and present their findings for next to nothing.

When it actually comes to getting an intern. The best thing to do is present your company at the school. Many professors will happily invite you to speak, and if for whatever reason you’re not able to book a class, then the school’s entrepreneurial club will be thrilled to have you. Also, be sure to advertise your position with the school’s career services. They’ll add you to the database, and will in all likelihood include your offer in their weekly newsletter as well as their online application system.


When it comes to the interview there are a few major things to remember, and while they may seem obvious we’re still going to mention them.

  • Treat current students as equals. Nothing is wore than heading in for an interview and having the interviewer ask you to sing your favorite song (true story from a Forture 500 company interview, in fact why don’t we call them on it as this type of practice should stop, it was TechData), and after all you’ll be working with them for a few months.
  • Ask questions to see the way the person thinks. Being a start up, you’ll be working closely together, and culture, fit, mix, whatever you call is about the most important thing in building your team.
  • Pick someone that compliments you. It’s easy to hire someone just like you and with a similar background. See where your lacking, what can you improve on, and what area of your business needs the most attention, and get the person who can do that job right.


Once you’ve chosen your candidate and shortlisted two more be sure to give them an offer that’s fair. If you’ve been funded, offer them a salary. It doesn’t have to be a Morgan Stanley salary, but try and offer something. MBA’s know that you’re short on cash, and they’ll be appreciative of the fact that you can pay them.

If you haven’t been funded and can’t offer cash incentives, be frank and say so upfront. But do express what you can offer, knowledge, insight, networking, day to day entrepreneurial experience.

Did we miss anything?

Europe’s entrepreneurial scene is Improving, however there is still work to be done.

The word “entrepreneur” originates from early 19th century French, meaning one who undertakes an endeavour. However aside from the words origins Europe for a long time saw what in comparison to other global markets has been little activity in creating new Enterprise. Long established firms on the continent have for the most part ruled the enterprise scene, and entrepreneurship activity has been for the most part stagnant until recently.

In the past few years things however have been on the move, the UK, typically the centre of European Entrepreneurship has the scene has taken a second seat to the area around the Baltic sea, typically, Finland, Sweden, Germany, Austria, Poland. New enterprise is popping up nearly everywhere you look funneled by media reports of new tech startups such as Spotify, clean tech, sustainable energy and life sciences.

So why the change? It can be attributed to a number of factors, these being greater European Integration, open labour markets, or even initiatives such as the Baltic Entrepreneurship Partners whose aim is creating co-operative research and study in entrepreneurship and entrepreneurship education field, members are;

Ã…rhus Business School
University of Tartu, The Faculty of Economics and Business Administration
Kaunas University of Technology Regional Business Incubator
Stockholm School of Entrepreneurship
Institute of Business Administration at Tallinn Technical University
Tampere University, Research Centre for Vocational Education
Academy of Entrepreneurship and Management, Warsaw

And while there has been a shift is this to say the least enough. The short answer is no. The longer answer is that while there are initiatives on the continent, and they are making an impact the fundemental truth is that the state entrepreneurship lies in societal perception or risk, and the sad truth is that most european societies are risk averse.

The Danish, have a word for being too ambitious, the Spanish say that the best local entrepreneurs take an idea that worked in America and copy it for the local market, the Business Angel activity in many networks sees sometimes at most one deal year. Are these things normal in an society that is pro-entrepreneurial, no, they are counterproductive and act against those of us who are trying to innovate and create enterprise. At the same time, you have a portion of the continent with high national debt, where taxpayer euro’s are going towards intiatives such as government sponsored – socialist designed programmes to create work and lower unemployment, and if we must utilize taxpayer euro’s to create jobs would it not be better if we did it though the creation of new companies?

Then it comes to initiatives, assistance, help, etc… the taxpayer at the end it often paying for European Innovation, which in a way is fine, however, governments at the core of their nature are inefficient due to the lack of a distinctive profit motive, notwithstanding, those individuals in charge of distributing those funds, are they specialists, are they venture cap? No, they are not. And what about EU money dedicated to new enterprise, it’s there but how do you get to it? Information is not only lacking, but the little that does exist requires a PhD in bureaucracy to understand.

Where does this all lead to? Simple, we need to work on changing mindsets while fighting against the grain of society, there is no Silicon Valley (SV) in Europe, there are pockets such as Sophia Antipolis, but as much as the French would like, it’s no SV, but it’s getting there, and this continent if anything needs more initiatives such as Sophia, it needs to embrace new ideas, and put aside its misconceptions of pro-risk behaviour. Only if we do that and work together to foster entrepreneurship on the continent will we truly become a more successful and more efficient society.

VIDEO Series: Branson’s Keynote at the DMA


While we honestly don’t think that Sir Richard Branson needs any introduction, we think that this video does. It comes from the 2006 Direct Marketing Association’s Keynote speech, and while Direct Marketing may have its benefits and drawbacks, we feel that the video more than compensates for any feelings positive or negative towards the practice.

Among other things Branson discusses the transfer or core business concepts from his music company to an airline, Virgin Atlantic, and how mass media outlets, and researchers believed that an airline named Virgin would inevitable fail.

In all the video is long, about 25 minutes whole, but a joy to watch from start to finish.

Thoughts? Discuss in our Forum

Pin It on Pinterest