From Summer Internship to Full-Time Job – My Experience and Tips on How You Can Do the Same

The summer of 2018 was propitious to say the least. Landed an internship right before the school year ended, experienced the “Los Angeles” office culture, got a manager who supported my career growth, and met a team that I adored working with every day.

From Summer Internship to Full-Time Job – My Experience and Tips on How You Can Do the Same

When you’re lucky enough to land an internship with a team that constantly pushes you to learn more and grow every day, commuting in that infamous Los Angeles rush hour traffic makes it all so worth it. Having an experience that amazing makes it hard letting go as summer comes to an end. Most commonly, people say goodbye to an internship and move on. But what if you could anchor your internship experience to land a full-time role after graduation? Could it be done?

After two summer internships and now a permanent, full-time role with Shirley Parsons, my answer is --- yes, it most definitely can be possible. 

I found the Business Development Intern role with Shirley Parsons via Handshake, a career site for college students. After a couple phone calls with the hiring manager back in May of 2018, I was invited to an in-person interview. Compared to other interviews that I had prior, my on-site experience was so at ease – three hours went by in just a snap of a finger. A couple days later, I received the internship offer. I was beyond ecstatic. 
As a team of 7 in the Los Angeles office during the time, we may seem like a fairly small recruiting firm, but our team was a massive powerhouse. Through being a part of hitting various company milestones that summer, I knew my experience here could never be duplicated by any other experiences. As summer came to an end, I knew deep down that I still had plenty to contribute/give to the company as well as so much more growth to obtain – I didn’t want to let everything go just like that. Understanding that asking wouldn’t hurt, I approached my hiring manager and expressed my interest to see if they had the bandwidth to extend my internship opportunity into the school year. 

Fortunately, I got an offer again to work part-time remotely while in school at UC San Diego with the condition that I always put academics first before work. I agreed and three quarters of the school year went by swiftly. Through interning remotely, I gained a stronger sense of independence and learned to better my time management and communication skills. I returned into the office the summer of 2019 and was offer an additional role as the Social Media Intern. I accepted the offer and began the dual role as the company’s Business Development and Social Media Intern. I am always open to challenging myself and learning new things – taking on the role as the Social Media Intern has provided me more insight into the marketing aspect of the business industry. I am constantly stretching my creativity in producing new content for the company. 

Following that summer, I returned to school for my senior year of college and continued to work remotely as the Business Development and Social Media Intern. I received a phone call in November from Tim Melvin, our West Coast Director, asking if I would be interested in taking on a new full-time role as the company’s Business Operations Assistant. With such tremendous personal development interning with Shirley Parsons, I knew taking on the full-time role would allow me to continue to grow exponentially. I was beyond thrilled to have landed a full-time offer prior to graduation. 

Fast forward to today, I am beyond grateful for the opportunities that Shirley Parsons has provided me. I have learned/absorbed so much during these first few months working full-time as the Business Operations Assistant. Reflecting from the past two years as an intern to my transition on becoming a full-time employee, here are some tips that come to mind in helping you land that full-time offer from an internship: 

  • Active Communication – Especially during this time of the pandemic when most are working remotely, active communication is key. Let your manager know what you have accomplished during your shift and what your goals are for the next day/week. Through this, you are not only building trust between you and your manager, but your transparency also reassures them that work is getting done. Also, don’t be afraid to constantly ask questions. It is better safe to ask and get the work done correctly rather than taking the chance/consequence of doing poorly on a task. 
  • Give your 110% – This may sound clichéd, but doing your job well is the most important move you can make when it comes to anchoring that full-time position. The company who hired you to intern for them believed you were capable – don’t prove them wrong. Take on new challenges and nudge on your limits. You’ll want to leave the impression that you were more than what they expected.  
  • Express your interest – You can’t expect that full-time offer if you don’t express your interest. This is a crucial part in anchoring that job offer. There are many ways to express your interest of the position to your manager; gage it yourself and find the right time to bring it up. 
  • Advocate for yourself – Beside massive growth, the perks of working with a fairly small team is that your work does not go unnoticed. However, if you are working in a big, busy, and chaotic environment, it’s more likely that your colleagues don’t have the time to get to know you or recognize the work you that you do. This ties back to active communication where you can/should advocate for yourself by reaching out to your manager frequently. A simple email at the beginning and end of the week informing your goals and accomplishments will help you stand out throughout your internship.  

If you have any questions or would like further advice on landing a full-time job offer, feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn and/or reach out to me at Jeffrey.Lu@shirleyparsons.com. Best of luck to you! 

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