How do you make sure you're getting a good deal when you sign on for an internship? Take the time during your interview to make sure you understand what's involved in the internship by asking these questions.
- Can you give me an example of my summer responsibilities? Try to make sure the answer you receive is as specific as possible. Particularly if you're new to the industry, you want to ensure that you will perform work that is representative of a full-time associate.
- How many people are typically given permanent job offers? And ask for percentages too. This shows you're interested in opportunities after graduation at the firm, and allows you to plan your strategic options. Some firms, like Goldman Sachs, are known for giving offers to a small proportion of the summer class. You may want to try better odds at another firm.
- Will I be able to rotate between departments? Again, the more you know about the company, the better you will be able to determine which department interests you most, or whether you want to work at the firm at all. If there's a specific department you want to work in, you should make this known.
- Do you provide any assistance with relocation? Many firms will help locate, and even subsidize, summer housing. If this makes a difference in whether you take the position, ask.
Not all internships are created equal. Some involve dedicated training, exposure to managers, and significant responsibility. Others involve making copies and getting coffee.