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by Connie and Caroline | May 18, 2009


Posted by Caroline Ceniza-Levine

This is a tough market.  If you have a summer internship, congratulations.  That’s an accomplishment in this market.  But there is no time to rest on your laurels.  More and more companies rely on their intern pool to select for full-time offers.  Getting a summer internship just buys you another round.  Get your game face on because you are starting the playoffs of your full-time job search.

You effectively have a 10-12 week audition.  So be aware that what you do, who you meet, and how you are perceived matters.  Be upbeat and friendly – people want to work with people they like.  Be enthusiastic – Gen Y has a bad reputation for its attitude, so be the happy surprise.  Be available – don’t eat at your desk when you can meet with your colleagues, other departments, even other interns.

Know the rules of engagement.  If the full-time conversion process isn’t covered at orientation (or if there isn’t an orientation), ask exactly how the conversion process works.  Ask about performance evaluations.  You need to prepare and pace yourself.  If there is a mid-internship evaluation you want to make sure that you contribute before then so your supervisor has something to evaluate you on.

Now stop thinking about the future and get to work.  Don’t forget to do the work at hand.  Don’t get too caught up in the next steps of the job search that you forget to do your job.  You don’t want to be Charlie Brown racing for the finish line, alone on the home stretch, losing himself in dreams of glory, and ultimately running off the course.

Stay focused, play by the rules, put your best foot forward.  May the best intern win!


On-Campus / Convert Your Summer Internship Into a Full Time Offer

Posted by Connie Thanasoulis-Cerrachio

Congratulations on your summer internship because Lord knows it probably wasn’t easy! When I ran campus recruiting at Merrill Lynch about 2 years ago, 80 – 90% of our summer interns were offered full-time jobs. So here are some ways to convert it to a full time offer.

Paperwork: It’s not an exciting word, but you have to complete quite a lot of paperwork when you have a summer internship, so make sure it’s done on time and in a quality manner. Sloppy work here will get you noticed.

Performance Reviews: Make sure you know what you’ll be graded on at the beginning of your internship. Many larger companies will actually give you the performance review form, and if that’s the case, read it well. In some companies, peers fill out evaluations on you … so consider all facets of your review. If this isn’t available to you, ask your manager what your responsibilities will be and write them down and pass them by your manager as soon as you can. Having a mid-summer review is a great way to ensure you are on track.

Manager Protocol: Either observe your manager’s style or ask them what their style is: do they like you to schedule time in advance to talk, or are they ok with you just walking into their office. I’ve had both types of managers it’s easier to notice their preferences earlier rather than later. Remember, making your boss happy and satisfied with your work will only improve your chances of getting an offer.

Networking: This is a must during the summer. Meet as many managers at your company as you can, meet as many other interns as possible, and meet as many administrative assistants as you can as their opinions are often important to their managers. Meet full time employees that were summer interns and ask how they converted their offers. Meet as many of your fellow classmates that are at the same company as you are. You never know who knows who, so treat everyone with respect and help as many people as you can … they will remember you!

Summer Intern Events at your company: Attend ALL summer events planned at your company, unless they take you away from urgent work that must be done. These events are planned months before you join a firm, so be there and enjoy. Don’t let alcohol trip you up at an event, because recruiters will be watching. Also, avoid any romantic interludes because gossip can rage out of control at companies. Your attention and passion should be on your job … remember your mission is to get a full-time offer. Even if you don’t want it, having an offer is gold in your pocket.

Summer Intern Events by school: Often times, schools will hold "summer reunion" events in the larger cities like NYC or Chicago. Make sure you contact your school for this info and attend. It’s a great way to network and find out what your fellow classmates are doing at other companies.

End of summer to do’s: Ask for developmental feedback, and when it’s given to you, take it constructively. Let them know how much you’d love to work for the company full-time. Always be positive about the people you’ve met and the job you’ve done. Link in to as many people as you can at your company through, because even if they move to another company, you’ll have their contact info. Send thank you notes to people that have helped you, and send them emails when you are back at school to keep in touch.

The summer is filled with opportunities to impress and help get you that full-time offer. Focus your energies and attention on doing the best job humanly possible. It will be noticed!


Filed Under: Job Search