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Internships That Lead to Your Career Goals

16 February, 2016


By Jen Beyer, NA Talent Acquisition Lead, @JenLynnBeyer

You have two papers due, you have an exam tomorrow, and you’re late to class. How are you ever going to find the time to search for a summer internship? It’s the last thing on your mind. You’ll just have to figure it out after exams are done and the semester is over. You could always lifeguard at the neighborhood pool again or volunteer at your old summer camp. But how is that going to lead you to that consulting position you’re hoping to get after graduation?

Finding the right internship the summer before you graduate is key to finding the right full-time job. Here are a few qualities you should look for in an internship to help you achieve your career goals.

Great Company

Sometimes it’s about not only the job but also the people you work with. Having access to intellectually curious and accomplished individuals can be worth a lot. Strong managers and mentors can provide advice, expose you to important experiences, and further your career quickly. CEB research has found that working with someone you admire can be a valuable learning experience and help you enjoy your job beyond your responsibilities.

Full-Time Potential

Making sure you have summer plans is important, but finding a company that you can picture yourself at long term is ideal. Will the internship allow you to develop the skills and experience you want to advance in your career? Do you enjoy the day-to-day work? Can you see yourself making an impact? Will you be exposed to senior leaders and clients? Why not make your job search easy and find an internship that will lead to a full-time job, so you can enjoy your senior year and make your parents happy.

Cool Culture

There is a lot of buzz about “company culture.” And there’s good reason: it’s important. CEB research found that organizational culture can drive consistent and commercially relevant behaviors, boost employee discretionary effort by up to 30%, and improve intent to stay by up to 38%. You should ask yourself if the company mission and values align with your interests. Does it have a collaborative and global environment? Are diversity and social responsibility initiatives important to the business? These are all components to a good company culture and questions you should ask employees to get the real picture.

So as you think about your priorities for the semester, make time to research and find a few quality internships to apply to that will help you get to the next step after graduation. In the end, it will save you a lot of time, and you will feel confident as you step into the real world.

2014 CEB Intern Video

2015 CEB Intern Video

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