Turning summer internships into jobs

July 17, 2012 at 8:00 am | Posted in Intern Advice | Leave a comment
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Coach Susan Sandberg

Susan Sandberg

The Bureau of Labor Statistics just released disheartening employment statistics for June. Only 90,000 new jobs were added to the economy, which causes concern for new graduates or for those looking to change careers. On average, it takes about six months for college graduates to land their first job, according to a study released last month by the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University in New Jersey. However, the following suggestions might help your summer interns to turn their internships into jobs:

  • Los Angeles Times:  Think long-term. “Don’t think of your internship as short-term but imagine that you are a full-time employee at the company,” recommended Peter Handal, chief executive of Dale Carnegie Training. “Demonstrate that you really see yourself fitting in with the corporate culture and also that you are capable of handling the workload.”
  • Volunteer. “If you work at a company that puts on a lot of events or after-hour benefits, volunteer to work at them,” Handal said. “They might cut into your free time, but volunteering demonstrates you are interested and eager to learn.”
  • Share ideas. “If you have an idea or input, think it through, and then speak up,” said Matthew Proman, founder of the National Association of Professional Women. “You never know: You could have a valuable idea no one else has thought of, but at the very least, you will seem involved and a good critical thinker.”
  • Dress right. Wear clothes that fit with your work environment. “Dressing unprofessionally is one of the biggest blunders that interns make,” Proman observed. “If you’re in doubt, err on the more conservative side.”
  • Exceed expectations. “You have a brief amount of time to show what you’re made of,” Proman said. “Come early, stay late and take on extra projects. The objective is to blow them away.”
  • Huffington Post:  Whether they tell you or not, employers are monitoring their employees’ behavior on the job by weeding through emails, checking phone logs, and even perusing Facebook pages. An employee who handles interns at the Boston branch of the Drug Enforcement Administration says that DEA interns aren’t treated any differently than employees, and that means they’re subject to the same background and reference checks before they even start at work. He says there’s a disclaimer on DEA computers informing interns, just like all employees, that their behavior on the machines can be monitored. Boston Globe High School Sports Editor Bob Holmes, on the other hand, says the Globe doesn’t really monitor interns or employees. Holmes suggests his interns practice common sense when it comes to engaging in personal activity on the job. And when it’s busy in the office, he says, interns should focus on the assignment at hand, rather than getting distracted by g-chat, emails, or the like.

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