5.3.3. The Internship

After accepting an offer, relax and enjoy the rest of the semester. During the summer, keep in mind:

– The internship is the easiest way to a full-time opportunity: Most of the companies recruiting on-campus do so with full-time employment in mind. Some even refer to the internship as a “three month interview”, a time for them to evaluate you in consideration for full-time. So you better work hard and make sure everybody knows that. Try to demonstrate some of the key business skills, like working without supervision, teamwork, communicating, and self-starting.

– Work hard and smart to get full-time job offer: During the internship, you have the opportunity to show the employer who you are, and what are you capable of. An excellent performance can make the difference between going through the pain of sponsoring you for full-time employment or not.

– Work hard even if not interested in full-time opportunity: Even if you don’t want to stay with the company, do the best you can to get a full-time job offer. When you start the second-year interview season, a lot of recruiters will ask if you got an offer from your summer employer, and it is certainly better if you did. Also, starting to interview with a secure job offer is much more relaxed than starting from zero.

– Network as much as you can: Try to meet as many people as you can within the company. At the same time, try to impress external people – like suppliers, customers, and consultants. Keep in touch with your classmates working in the same city and attend events from your school, those sponsored by your company and other companies.

– Don’t limit your work to what you are told to do: Although this is good advice for any work you ever do, the internship is the best time to outshine and prove yourself valuable beyond the call of duty. Don’t miss any opportunity to volunteer for extra work.

– Research the company from inside: As an insider, you could potentially find the departments or the people currently recruiting elsewhere in the organization. Even better, you can identify those projects you would like to work at, and those leaders you would love to work for. You may find a better opportunity or a more exciting project for full-time employment.

– Have fun: Remember it is summer. Do not just work all the time. Not only having fun will be good for your overall mental health, but socializing with the people in the company is a great networking opportunity.

– Learn to play Golf: No kidding. Golf is the sport of corporate America, and is great for networking. Take it from us; Golf is one important skill to learn.

– Take it easy: Do not work until the day before you begin the fall term. Take some time to relax, travel and have fun. The fall term is usually very busy (academically and job-search wise) and you better begin well rested.

– Farewell: Before leaving the job, personally say goodbye and thank every person you worked with or related to. Ask them to keep in touch with you, and give them your address, phone number and e-mail address. Let them know you will be available, should they need anything from you in the future. Stay in touch with the people you worked with, even if you do not intend to go back.

The summer internship, besides being a good opportunity to gain work experience and earn some money, provides a good rehearsal for the full-time recruiting season. So if you did not get a job offer, or did not get the job you wanted, don’t forget to take some time to evaluate yourself and improve your skills.