Even though it's just a few weeks into the fall semester of our first year, we received an extra early reminder to think about internships when clothing company Zara (part of Inditex) asked to interview students early while their employees from Spain were in the US on business. To back up a bit, here's a quick explanation of how internships play a role in the LGO program.
Every LGO student will spend six months, either from February to August (Off-cycle) or from June to November (On-cycle) working with one of our partner companies on a project that the company has proposed. This project will become the basis for the student's thesis. Luckily, even though we will graduate with two degrees, MIT allows us to write just one thesis that will count for both. So, even though Off-cycle internship interviews won't mostly begin until next month, Zara kicked things off last week. It's gotten people to start thinking about when they want to go and what they want to do.
I am interested in doing Off-cycle for a number of reasons:
1) If you do an off-cycle internship, you have one remaining fall semester and one remaining spring. On-cycle leaves you with two springs. I like off-cycle because if you have more than two elective classes that looked interesting and were only offered in the fall, you will have that extra semester to get to take them. The one fall everyone has (this one) is pretty full with the four required Sloan classes and so isn't very customizable. There are at least two other classes only offered in the fall that I'd like to take, therefore, I'd like to be around campus for Sept-Nov 2012.
2) If you're here for the entirety of your second year, you can join and really commit to a Sloan club - you can follow a leadership role through. This is actually true for On-cycle internships for LGO committees, so I'm more on the fence about this reason. If I did off-cycle, I wouldn't be here to help out with the LGO Admitted Students Open House in March/April. Maybe I could participate via Skype...
3) Two semesters of school, two "semesters" of internship and then another two semesters of school. MIT classes can consume a lot of your time and brain power. Having six months in the middle doing something with a completely different structure (focusing completely on one thing), gets you re-charged to tackle six of seven different commitments.
4) Other silly reasons: I like Boston weather from September to November more than the weather from February to May. Also, my birthday is in December and it would be nice to be "at home" then, after living in Michigan and not seeing my family for my birthday for three years.
5) Finally, for better or worse, you have more time to write your thesis! Could be good but could be painful if work expands to fill the time allowed for it.
Everyone's got their own reasons for choosing what time they choose (including what companies are offering internships when), but right now this sounds good to me.