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Q&A: Post-Graduate Internships

Read through this Q&A on post graduate internships for some great advice on work life after college.

Peter Vogt, Monstertrak Career Coach

March 12, 2009

Q&A: Post-Graduate Internships

I have been offered an internship for 2-3 weeks with a finance company. I have really good academic qualifications but NO JOB EXPERIENCE whatsoever, and I'm really desperate about securing a job as quickly as possible. I graduated about a month ago and haven't found a job yet.

This internship really interests me and I want to try to receive a job offer after it's over. If the employer says nothing about a continuation after my internship, how do I approach this issue? Should I just ask him if it would be possible to stay a while longer with the company? Because I can't ask them straight out if they want to hire me, right?

It is fairly common for employers to hire past interns. Many companies use their internship program as a opportunity to train and screen potential new hires.

However, for now, I would not jump ahead to considerations of full-time employment; I'd focus on doing extremely well during your internship. Then, just before the internship ends, you should sit down with your supervisor and ask about the possibility of full-time employment. If there isn't an opportunity available, be sure to keep in touch with your contact in the company. Perhaps when something is available they will keep you in mind as a potential candidate.

Do internship opportunities include post-grads? I am trying to break into the graphic design field, but I only have student experience. All ads are for experienced designers, so I am thinking of an internship. Do you think this is a good strategy for me? Thanks!

I think that gaining experience through an internship is definitely a good idea. It will give you the opportunity to make contacts in the field and to learn about different aspects of the industry. Employers tell us they prefer candidates who have developed job-related skills and knowledge through career-related work experience.

Do companies ever take on interns who have just graduated, or will graduate during the internship? If so, is it common? If it makes any difference, I am asking in respect to the field of computer programming.

Depending on the company and the requirements of the internship program, you still may be eligible to participate in an internship after graduation. I would contact the companies directly to ask them about their policies regarding this.

I would like to know what the average age range is for people participating in internships? Is there typically an age ceiling for people wishing to enter into such forms of employment?

Age is generally not a consideration in obtaining an internship. Keep in mind that internships have been quite successful vehicles for adults wishing to re-enter the workforce and for workers who have been laid-off and are seeking new careers. If you are seeking an internship, don't consider age an important factor in your search. Instead, look for an internship that will fit your future career plans, polish your resume and develop your interviewing skills.

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