Friday, August 12, 2016

Accepting that Job Offer When the Internship Ends

You have completed your summer internship, and you have received a full-time offer of employment.  Fantastic!  Now, should you accept the position.  Most young people might say, "If you had a good summer internship experience, then of course, you should take the job."   Jon Simmons has published a good article for Fast Company that addresses this issue.   Simmons suggests that the answer might not be so simple.

How should you make this decision?   Simmons suggests careful consideration of a wide range of factors including compensation, benefits, company culture, opportunities for growth and development.  Certainly, all of these items matter.  However, I think the decision should not primarily be about factors such as compensation.  In fact, the differences in compensation across multiple job offers will be relatively trivial for most students.  The real issue is growth and development.   Interns should ask themselves three questions:

1.  Will my full-time position be substantively different than my internship experience?  Will it be more challenging?  Will I assume new responsibilities?  Will I learn new skills?  If the answer is no to these questions, then you don't want to take the offer.  The best firms that hire here at Bryant University provide full-time opportunities that build upon, but go well beyond, the internships that they offer.

2.  Does the firm have a track record of investing in the growth and development of its young employees?   Will I have opportunities to enhance my skills through in-house leadership development programs, training courses, tuition reimbursement at local universities, and mentoring by senior leaders?   If the answer is yes, then you should seriously consider taking the job offer.

3.  What are my short term career goals, and would this full-time position help me achieve those goals?  Don't think in terms of 10-15 year plans.    That's just not advisable in today's world.  Think instead of the next 5 years.  What do you hope to achieve?  Suppose you plan to apply to a top MBA program. Then ask yourself:  Will this full-time position help me gain admittance to such a school?  Suppose instead that you hope to become a young entrepreneur.  You should ask:  How will this position help me achieve that goal?

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