Are MBA Internships Paid? Here’s What You Need to Know

MBA Internships - Chitkara University

“There are no alternatives for learning about the world of work and being in the world of work. You can do that through internships. You can do it through summer job experiences or even from volunteer jobs in your local community.” – Alexis Herman

MBA internships provide practical exposure, a networking platform, opportunities to work at leading organisations based on performance during internship tenure, and learning beyond the curriculum. You apply theories and methods in practical work situations and observe their outcomes.

Using decision-making abilities and working within and across departments on a project enhances communication skills and grooms you as an industry-ready MBA professional.

So, it’s settled that MBA internships are crucial, but do organisations pay interns?

Paid vs. unpaid internship, which one is better?

Let us explore.

Are MBA Internships Paid?

The majority of organisations pay interns, but not all of them. According to Internshala, India’s leading internship and training solution provider, in their October 2020–October 2021 batch, 93% of students were offered paid internships, and 7% received unpaid offers.

Top management colleges in India facilitate paid MBA internships at leading industry players through tie-ups and collaborations. MBA aspirants can explore Chitkara University for excellent internship opportunities.

In the words of Ashruti Vohra, one of the students at Chitkara University, “I have completed my internship with a leading organisation. The faculty of Chitkara Business School helped me during intensive projects and supported me to complete the internship with flying colours. All students in my batch were offered paid internships from renowned organisations.”

Which is better, paid or unpaid MBA internships?

Paid internships are hands-down better for employers and interns. Let us explore why in the following section.

What are the advantages of paid internships?
  • Paid interns are comparatively more dedicated, focused, and loyal to projects than unpaid interns.
  • A stipend helps students bear basic costs, including travel, stationery, etc. It roots out financial constraints and helps to increase their performance, learning, and contribution to the organisation.
  • Paid internships are ethical, and every organisation should follow this because it is a humane thing to do. It is unfair to leverage your brand name to hire MBA students for unpaid internships.
  • MBA students with paid internships show responsible attitudes towards assignments, projects, roles, and responsibilities.

Prashant Mehra, Director at Grant Thornton Bharat, mentioned that “According to a survey conducted by NACE (National Association of Colleges and Employers) paid interns work better and bag the best job offers more than unpaid interns. The report further pointed out that people without internships received an equal number of full-time job offers as unpaid interns.”

Disadvantages of Unpaid MBA Internships
  • Paid internships provide financial stability. Unpaid MBA internships lack that. It means fewer MBA students apply for such internships. It deprives organisations of skilled MBA students, and they might have to adjust to mediocre interns.
  • Organisations might have to spend more time and capital training mediocre MBA interns than skilled MBA students.
  • It is a basic human attitude to become casual if they won’t get paid for their work. The same applies to paid and unpaid MBA interns.
  • A significant number of MBA students take out student loans to pursue their management programs. They carry a burden of debt, and unpaid MBA internships are generally not preferable for most of them.

Some of the Common Excuses Organisations Make to Follow Unpaid Internships

    • The core objective of MBA internships should be learning industry skills, not money.
    • We are startups and can’t afford to pay stipends.
    • We get quality interns even without paying a stipend; why should we pay them?
    • Interns require handholding and do not add much value to the organisation.

Organisations pursue unpaid MBA internships under the shadow of these arguments.

What have we learned so far?

We have learned that the majority of MBA internships are paid and preferred by students and employers for better productivity overall. We have also explained why internships matter, the advantages of paid MBA internships over unpaid internships, and explored a couple of expert views on paid internships.

Now, let us go through the process of bagging the best internship opportunities.

How to bag the best MBA internship opportunities?

We have interviewed several MBA students online and on campus to compile a set of rules for landing a desirable paid MBA internship.

Let’s take a look at the tips.

      • MBA internship is a significant resume-building element. Several organisations consider their interns first when hiring employees. You should plan and perform at an internship with an eye toward your dream job.
      • MBA aspirants should look out for top MBA universities for their management programs. These top management colleges and universities in India hand-hold you, take you through internships, and ensure the best practical learning experience.
      • You can explore and enrol in the best MBA courses at Chitkara University, which is renowned for industry-endorsed management programs and an excellent track record of quality internships, placements, and more.
      • Follow a strategy to prepare for the MBA internship and balance it with semester exams, tests, and extracurricular activities.

Strategy to prepare for MBA internships must include:

        • Collect all the previous internship trends and information from faculty, seniors, and alumnus.
        • Research the companies coming to campus.
        • Form and participate in case-study groups.
        • Draft your CV and get it reviewed by experts.
        • Prepare questions and practise for the GD and PI rounds.


Paid and unpaid MBA internships varies from company to company. It depends mostly on their HR policies. However, as we discussed, paid internships are comparatively better than unpaid internships, and industry experts also support paid MBA internships. It improves the performance, dedication, and loyalty of interns toward employers and therefore helps organisations with enhanced productivity and prospectively skilled MBA professionals for full-time employment.


An MBA internship with a renowned organisation ensures desired career growth for fresh MBA graduates. A majority of organisations offer paid MBA internships because of their competitive advantages over unpaid internships. The blog explores the benefits of paid internships, the disadvantages of unpaid MBA internships, why organisations should follow paid internships, and tips to bag the best internship opportunities.



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