College Connect: As Internships start to end, consider a new job

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By Morgan M. Grayned

As summer internships begin to end, it might be time to consider whether you want to stay.

Some internships end as early as late July. Others end in early or mid August. Some internships can become a full-time job.

About 70 percent of internships at larger companies make full-time job offers to their interns, according to an survey. Every year companies, large and small, hire bright students for internship and co-op programs. Many students seek internships to help evaluate their career goals and gain hands-on professional work experience. Some employers seek interns to mold them for entry-level positions.

Wouldn’t it be nice to parlay your next internship into a full-time job offer?

If you’re working an internship this summer, evaluate how the company sees you now – and where the company, and you, see you working in late summer when the internship ends. If you do not like the culture of the office, your coworkers or how you think your career might develop if you were to stay, seek other opportunities. It is important for you to want to work at the company as it is for the company to want to hire you.

If you think you might want to work at the company where you are doing an internship, it is important to act the part. Adhere to the company dress code. Perform at high standards. Demonstrate professionalism at all times. This is not the classroom. Your work ethic should be as advanced as the associates, colleagues and bosses with whom you are working. Employers want to hire interns who are professionals. They want to hire team players. If you are not professional, performing at a high level and not being a team player, they will not ask you to stay.

The key to getting hired after the end of an internship is making an admirable impression. If you are not the only intern in the office, you have to be more proactive and work harder to make a positive, lasting impression. When you have extra time on your hands, ask for additional projects. Show your supervisors that you are curious and inquisitive, and want to work.

At the culmination of some internships, employers schedule exit interviews with interns. For undergraduates returning to college, it is a good opportunity to provide feedback and to get an accurate performance assessment. For recent graduates, it may be a job interview without anyone saying so. Whether you are returning to school or hoping for an offer, an exit interview is a good chance to ask for specific feedback about what you did well, what you could have done better and how you can improve. If it is clear things have gone well, they like you and you like them, don’t be bashful: diplomatically ask about potential opportunities. Who knows what might happen.

In any case, whether you return to school or leave without a job, leave on good terms and realize that networking is key. Maintain these important company relationships. It might lead to a job later, or a good reference for a job you did not existed.

Remember, companies invest in you now so that you can become an asset to them in the future.

Morgan M. Grayned is a 2015 magna cum laude graduate of Hampton University with a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration and an emphasis in leadership studies and marketing. Morgan is a proud GM Buick Achievers Scholar. After graduating from Hampton, a historically black university in Virginia, Grayned started working as a professional services intern at Nielsen in New York. Morgan aspires to launch her career in the greater New York City area.


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