You guys had started screaming your heads off for summer training barely couple of months into your MBA. Now that the time has come, most of you are at sea. The following should give you an idea of the whole funda:
Ideally summer trainings are learning platforms designed to allow the student to gain exposure to the actual workings of the industry and build a bridge between the theory and practice. The summer training should allow you to make a decision regarding the following:
1. Industry of choice (to target for a job if you need one)
2. Ability gaps if any (abilities and skills that will be required for a good career and your current state)
3. Behaviour of theory in the field (obviously only for serious career seekers)
Unfortunately summer training (especially for regional b schools has degenerated into disguised employment events, where companies use cheap (often free) manpower to drive sales for a couple of months in return for a certificate and pipe dreams of "a job if you do well". Even the b schools are unable to formulate policies and practices to maximise the benefit for students.
So what you should be doing as summer trainees:
1. If you are lucky enough to be in summer training in the industry of your choice, build networks (human!!), learn about the major players in the industry, their sizes, product lines, market shares and more importantly the market structure (the company, intermediaries till the end user, their interrelationships).
2. If you are not in industry of choice (or dont have a choice) then look around hard, do what is given in point 1 of the industry you are in and the one that you want to be in. Of course you will have to work harder in this case. The logic of learning about both the industries are that you never know of the employment scenes an year from today.
3. Get to grips with the lifestyle in the real world. Most of you come from insulated protected environments to the college which again is anoth artificially protective environment. If at all you do land a job, the shock of transition sometimes is quite severe. If you are good enough, you will learn the ropes (as much as you can) during the summer training itself.
4. Keep in touch with your teacher in charge regularly (even if for no reason).