Gaining More Control Over Being Hired At The End Of Your Internship

Gaining More Control Over Being Hired At The End Of Your Internship

It's the first week of August, which means you're rounding third on your summer internship. The end is in sight and one big question causes endless amounts of stress: are they going to hire me at the end of the internship? (Assuming they haven't already, or you're heading back to school, of course.)

The worst thing is feeling like you have no control over the situation. And yes, there are things outside of your control, like whether the agency has budget/enough business to bring you on full-time, or whether you're a culture fit. But there are things that can help you take the reins over the situation—or at least make you feel like you're not just waiting around passively for the decision to be made.

1) Establish goals and expectations, as well as check-ins to see how you're doing throughout your internship. Hopefully you've already done this up front, but if not, it's still important to make sure you clearly understand what your manager needs to see from you, and how you're doing against her/his expectations. Keep in mind that it's never a check list of things you need to do to get hired. It's consistently showing the agency the value you'd bring as an employee in both your output and attitude.

2) Get the meeting where you'll have the big conversation on the calendar. Ideally this meeting should happen a good three weeks before your last day so you have time to look for what's next if they don't bring you on. It might seem pushy to ask for the meeting, but a) it should be common courtesy for agencies to tell you before your last week, b) it's unlikely that they'll change their mind about you in the last three weeks, and c) it's your career, so take charge of it. This also accounts for any rescheduling that might happen.

Get the meeting on the calendar

3) If they don't hire you, tap the agency to help you land your next opportunity. Assuming you're leaving on good terms and haven't burned any bridges along the way, leverage the experience and relationships you've gained. Along with updating your resume with all your new skills, don't be afraid to ask your teammates to connect you with others in the industry (it's smaller than you think!) at agencies who may be hiring. Ask them for recommendations on LinkedIn to help pump up your profile.

Finish your internship strong (obvi), but know that if the agency likes you but can't hire you (it does happen!), it'll support your efforts to securing your next job. It's a delicate balance, but if you're getting all your work done and kicking ass as usual, transparency goes a long way when you absolutely have to pop out for an interview. On the other hand, ask if potential employers are willing to interview you before or after work, out of respect to your current commitment. Again, open communication with your manager is key to feeling out what the boundaries are.

Everyone is just trying to make it

It's a nerve-wracking time, for sure. But the more you can own what little control you have, the more you'll know that you did everything you possibly could. And if the answer's no, it's not the end of the world, even when it feels like it. The experience and connections you've gained from an internship make the time spent there valuable, and a key stepping stone to your next big opportunity. 

Finish strong,
Natalie