From Squintern to Employee

SPOILER ALERT!!!!! Ok, so if you are a “Bones” TV show fan, you’ve already seen tonite’s episode, so you know Mr. VNM is no longer with us. But it’s okay. Can you picture him hired on as an employee of the Jeffersonian? Nope, neither can I. I can’t even imagine how he would have morphed from a squintern into a full-fledged Jeffersonian scientist. It was bad enough that Booth and Bones gave Sweets a hard time for being so young, but you can bet if he had lived, they would have been even worse to Nigel.

Unfortunately, this can also be true in real life. I know there are a lot of seniors graduating from college right now who are considering the job offers they have received from companies where they interned during their college years. I know, it’s the “safety” offer. Consider this: How will you make the transition from being seen as an intern to a full staff member? One way is to meet with your mentors and tell them what you have learned since interning at their company — i.e. fill them in on the “new stuff” that they may not know about you.

Getting a boss who wasn’t your internship supervisor may not be enough, either. Networking isn’t just for students and job seekers. Smart people network within their own company. This means that your new boss may be asking your mentor about your strengths and weaknesses. Unfortunately, your new boss can end up approaching this new work relationship with a lot of preconceived notions about you. Also letting him or her know what else you have learned after interning there can dispel some of these preconceived ideas about you. However, you may have to dispel the rest by being a stellar employee.

Being an employee is very different from being an intern. Interns get extra slack, more time with their bosses, and may also get to choose some of what they work on as a “special side project.” Not every intern is just asked to fetch coffee, after all. The work pace may be faster, more will be expected of you, and you may find that the boss is harder on you as an employee. Make sure you know what your job duties will be and how you will complete them. You may also find that you have more autonomy and are individually responsible for making your deadlines. Will you be able to handle it? What will you do if you do not make that critical deadline?

This last bit is really difficult to do, especially if you are working directly for the person who supervised your internship, but do not second guess yourself. Analyze the situation and make a decision. Period. No waffling. No asides to your supervisor as in, “Was that right? Should I do it differently?” Everyone will see you for the competent, contributing employee that you really are if you step up to the plate and deliver.

The positives to accepting that job offer where you used to intern: you know most of the people there (excluding new hires since you’ve interned), you know the culture and your way around the building, you are familiar with the product or service the company provides, and you should have a good feel for where you fit in as an employee. Take the position if familiarity is important to you; just remember that there may be some hurdles to get over in transitioning from an intern to an employee.

2 Responses

  1. I hadn’t really thought about “what happens after you’ve iinterned”…other than the hoped for job offer.

    Good advice!

  2. I know, I thought it was happily ever after until we had alumni at the places I worked coming back with adjustment difficulties,

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