According to a recent survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), an employer is more likely to offer a job to a student prior to graduation if he or she has had an internship. The gap in offer rates between students with internship experience and those without grew from 12.6 percent in 2011 to 20 percent in 2015.
As more employers are hiring from their internship pool, colleges and universities are beefing up efforts to help students enter the workforce with real-world experience, says Patrick Sullivan an expert in career education who focuses on internships at Wake Forest University.
“Soon-to-be seniors are hoping to land the job offer before crossing the stage in May and performing well in an internship that matches your skills and interests can help make that happen.” Patrick Sullivan
Even if students perform well in an internship, turning the role into a full-time position depends on making a memorable exit. Sullivan offers three tips for wrapping up an internship on the right note.
End the internship with a bang, not a whimper. Find time to meet with your supervisor before the last day on the job. Share what you’ve learned. Highlight your successes, and remember to ask how to improve your skills. NACE’s 2016 Job Outlook Survey shows employers seek new hires with initiative, flexibility and good people skills. These traits, as much a specific job expertise, help build a strong workplace culture — a competitive edge for employers in any field.
Tell your manager you want to join the organization. Do not assume your supervisor knows this.
Stay up-to-date on the organization and in touch with mentors. Update your professional experiences in LinkedIn. Keep up on the organization’s news. Follow the organization on LinkedIn, create and save a Google News search, and follow industry trends. Demonstrating this knowledge, in addition to your internship experience, shows recruiters you are committed to the organization’s mission.
A final piece of advice — A handwritten note to thank your manager and other colleagues who were helpful during your internship will make an impression. Whether a full-time position opens within the organization or you apply elsewhere, your note will be remembered when it’s time for an interview or reference.
Sullivan, a personal and career development expert focusing on internships, has written for Fast Company on “The Rise Of Micro-Internships: How Students Can Take Advantage (And Avoid Being Taken Advantage Of).”
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