Leveraging Your Internship For Long-term Success
Beyond the experience you’ll gain working at your internship this summer, how can you leverage this position for your long-term success? You’re not the only one asking! Let’s hear from our hiring experts on how to make the most of your internship this summer. 

Networking

Siobhan, Hiring Expert at Accenture, shares, “Most large companies will offer plenty of ways to network during your summer internship. This may come in many forms, such as digital meet and greets, conference calls, workshops, socializing, etc. Take advantage of these opportunities to meet other interns and employees. Ask questions. Learn about others' experiences and share information about yourself and your aspirations.”  More from Siobhan

Kit, Hiring Expert at Textron Inc., explains, “Companies invest a tremendous amount of time, effort, and money to develop and grow an internship program - hoping that it will be the standard for all others to follow in attracting top talent. Incorporating social and professional networking events during the program encourages developmental opportunities, engagement, and cultural exchanges. It’s still a courtship period for both the intern and the organization. It’s an opportunity to gather and assess information about each so each can make an informed decision for the long-term commitment. Take full advantage of the learning opportunities and exposure during the internship – it may land you that long-term career opportunity.”  More from Kit

Recommendations

Brittany, Hiring Expert at ManpowerGroup, says, “You will always want to create meaningful, professional relationships in any job you have, even volunteering. Having professional advocates is crucial for your career and will help you greatly down the road. If you ask your supervisor for a letter of recommendation, be sure to give them some lead time and ask if they would like you to write one for them as well. If you think they would be up to it, you can also ask them to write the same, if not similar, recommendation for you on LinkedIn. Many potential employers will look at your LinkedIn profile before contacting you regarding job opportunities.”  More from Brittany

Traci, Hiring Expert at Accenture, shares, “Protocol around recommendation letters is completely dependent on the employer, but it is never a bad idea to ask. Your time interning is a time meant to expand your understanding of an industry, company, or position. Should you decide that one company is not for you or you would like to explore more options, its perfectly reasonable to ask for a recommendation that you can then use to do so. Again, asking is the key! What I would recommend is not only that you ask, but that you make it a goal to form lasting relationships while interning that you can then continue afterward.”  More from Traci

Future Employment

Ashley, Hiring Expert at Cardinal Health, offers, “A summer internship is a great step toward getting your foot in the door at an organization. Some companies will tell you upfront if they convert interns to full-time employment upon successful completion of the program. If it wasn’t mentioned to you upfront, you can ask the recruiter or your manager after you begin working. I would recommend working for a couple of weeks prior to asking so you have a chance to ‘prove yourself.’ If your manager sees you are a hard worker, they may be more willing to assist you with securing a full-time job upon graduation. Depending on the size of the company, you may be able to interview for a full-time position at the end of your internship or they may require you to wait until closer to your graduation date.”  More from Ashley

Kaitlin, Hiring Expert at Textron Inc., shares, “Before you go to your company directly about the conversion of interns to entry-level positions, you should do some research on your own. Depending on the company you will be interning with, there could be students at your school that might have interned with them in the past. They will be a great source for you to ask about the conversion rates. Career Services is another great resource for you to use. Once you start your internship, your company might discuss with you the potential for your internship to turn into an entry-level position. If they don’t discuss the potential opportunity for your internship to turn into a job after you graduate, don’t be alarmed. Explain to the recruiter or HR representative that you are very excited about your internship and everything you will be learning. There is nothing wrong with mentioning that you will need to begin looking for a full-time job after you graduate. This can lead you into the conversation about the potential for the conversion of interns and if there is a possibility of it.”  More from Kaitlin

Your summer internship is an exciting opportunity to see the culture of a company first-hand and gain valuable experience in your field. Make the most of every opportunity and every relationship you form! It will serve you well on your way to happily hired. 
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