In part two of a three part series about summer internships, we talked to previous corporate interns regarding their internship experiences following their junior year of college.
Are you a current college junior? A freshman or sophomore? If so, chances are you know at least one person who has completed an internship sometime within her college career. You may even know certain seniors who, upon completing a summer internship, have accepted a job offer and are in the process of planning out their lives post-college, before the school year has even started.
The remainder of seniors (at least those not planning on attending graduate school immediately) are caught up in the fall frenzy of career fairs, information sessions and interviews for employment positions. In the midst of these recruitment events, each student is attempting to put her best foot forward – addressing why her academic major, interests, life goals, leadership activities and lastly, work experiences, make her the right candidate for the job.
With previous work experience a strong quality that recruiters look for, here are some tips offered by recent summer interns on securing, succeeding in, and making the most out of your junior year internship.
How to Improve Your Odds of Securing a Job Offer as an Intern
Claire S., (Texas Tech University, ’13)
Technical Design Rookie at Under Armour
Look for companies that are growing and offer potential job opportunities for after you graduate. I had several good offers, but finding a job after graduation was one of the most important aspects of selecting an internship. So, when Under Armour mentioned that they would be hiring in my department and that it was growing quickly, it made it an even better option because securing a good job after college was my ultimate goal.
To receive the job offer, however, be sure to always work hard, remain interested, and keep a positive attitude. When you put effort into learning all of the systems and ways of the company and ask questions, people will notice and see that you are interested in what you’re doing.
Also, make sure to network with people, but do not go overboard. Talk with people in departments that you are interested in being in. Show them through your hard work and genuine interest that you are a valuable part of the company and that it would be beneficial for them to hire you following your internship.
Alyssa M., (Ashland University, ’14)
Retail Merchandising Rookie at Under Armour
During your internship, go above and beyond what they expect of you. Ask for advice on what you should improve on and make it noticeable that you are willing to learn. Get to work a little early and leave a little late. Out-work your boss and do it with a positive attitude.
Zsofia S., (Duke University, ‘14)
Global Financial Institutions Summer Analyst at Wells Fargo
To secure an offer, the key, from my experience, was to constantly be engaged with the work you do. Your work and the way you handle your work are the most important elements of whether or not you get an offer. Anything that you hand into your manager will be evaluated. On some days of my internship, I had more quiet schedules and took time to set up meetings with people throughout the division I was working in. From this, I made several contacts whom I can now talk with while deliberating whether or not to take the offer.
Lyndsay K., (Duke University, ‘14)
International Account Management Intern at Coach
One of the biggest things I learned was to ask for feedback and be very conscious to make changes based on the comments I received. Employers don’t expect you to get it right the first time, but they do expect you to learn from your mistakes and nail it the second time. Asking for feedback also really helps you know where you stand in terms of hiring or your general contributions within the internship. You do not want to find out on the last day that you could have changed something that would have made you a better candidate. Schedule a meeting with your supervisor after your first big project and see what went well and what you can improve on.
Caroline Herrmann is a junior at Duke University majoring in Cognitive Science and minoring in German Studies. She is working on a Markets & Management Studies certificate. Her goal is to attend business school and she would love to work in marketing or consulting in the United States or Europe. She was a part of the first Forté College Leadership Conference and can be found on Twitter at @caroooline717.