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For most people, an internship is one’s first step to find if people like their jobs or not. For a select few, people in their work like them enough to hire them on full time, some even waiting a full year before hiring.
I actually was offered a full-time job at my internship at a slaughterhouse so I can tell you what I know about going from internship to full-time offer but I do have to warn you that every company, every internship process, and every person will have a different story.
For those that don’t know, I worked at Cargill Value Added Meats in the Waco, Texas plant. I spent my days plating microbe films and analyzing turkey water. I did some projects in other areas and I learned a ton from the people around me.
At the end of my internship, my co-workers made me an amazing southern breakfast but they could tell…I probably wasn’t going to return.
At the end of the internship, the Cargill company brought us all to the corporate headquarters to do internship presentations and to meet our peers. It was a nice time. Free food and met some people. One or two I talk to even today.
In around September, I received an offer to work back at Waco Texas. It was actually a generous offer. Accounting for the standard of living, I would actually make more than I ever have.
So that’s the point where you have to decide if it’s worth it to move. I turned it down because I realized that I was kind of lonely and miserable in Waco Texas. Nothing bad about Waco, but it was the first time I was away from home in an environment where I knew no one. Luckily, I changed that mindset when I went to Phoenix.
Anyways, I want to share what I think will give you a more likely chance of you bagging a full-time job position in your internship process. Enjoy!
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The sooner you are from graduating, the most likely you’ll get a full-time offer
This makes a lot of sense. It will be very hard for a company to guarantee a spot if you’re a sophomore. For a Junior, it’s more likely, and a senior is much more likely. The big advantage of being a sophomore is that for one, you actually do have an internship under your belt, which is pretty rare for sophomores, and that you can intern again next year.
There is an argument to be made that getting an internship after your junior year is the best time that companies will hire you for a full time role. In most cases, an internship after your senior year wouldn’t make sense because you’re supposed to get a grown up job already, right?
Most big companies who have a structured internship program will have the program designed to hire if you’re after your junior year. They have budgets and stuff.
Bigger Companies Generally Will Hire You But Don’t Bet On It
Cargill, Ecolab, ConAgra, generally have comprehensive internship programs that involve a project and then you present it to a bunch of corporate people. In general, most interns will get a job from this, but not everyone. It’s really hard to judge if you’ll get chosen or not but as long as you have a good time, that’s all that matters, right? If you don’t have a good time at your internship, do you really want to be hired there?
In general R and D jobs are much harder to get full-time offers in big companies just because bigger companies want masters and ph.d level people. Smaller companies who can afford an internship might just want someone to do the busy work and especially if there is no internship program set up, then they definitely just want you to do work other people don’t want to do. Of course, take what you can get and if you’re well liked, then you might get hired, but generally, the companies that hire interns that have no internship program and are generally small just want you to lighten their load.
Big companies will generally have more reason and resources to take you on compared to a smaller company but nothing is ever certain.
If you’re well-liked and your manager likes you, you’re likely to get hired
Invited to a sky-box sports game? Pool party? Or whatever? This is a sign you fit in the company culture and they want you. Connecting with as many people and as many departments as possible makes it more likely to be hired full time just because you are making an effort to know everyone.
An internship is a low investment for a company to see if you’re a good fit. Getting along with everyone and being invited to lunch and stuff is one example of how you can notice that you might actually be there for the rest of your life.
One of my biggest regrets after interning is not collecting or keeping in contact with the people I worked with as an intern. In corporate and R+D, you absolutely have to do that just because the networks are so valuable. However, was my slaughterhouse job in the middle of nowhere going to help me out in the future? Maybe but not likely. Point being, collect info, and contact them once in a while is just a nice thing to do.