If you’re in the thick of applications for summer internships – good luck! Crazy to think that companies recruit for their summer internships more than a year ahead of time – so if you’re one of the lucky ones who has managed to land a summer internship (for this year or next) then congratulations!

As you no doubt already know, the summer internship is essentially a 10-week interview – with many companies now recruiting the vast majority of their Analyst class from their internship program – so make sure you work hard, get noticed for all the right reasons, and hopefully you’ll end up with a full time offer at the end of it. What a great way to spend your final year at university – with a job offer in hand!

At Harrison Careers, we work rigorously with our clients to make sure that they maximize their chances of converting their internships – and landing their dream full-time job.

Each summer when I worked at Goldman Sachs, I observed around 40 summer Analysts and Associates struggle to convert their internships into a full-time career with GS. I took notes on what they did right – and what they did wrong. The conversion rate was never more than 70%, and could sometimes be as low as 40%.

Sucking up to the bosses was not nearly enough. Getting selected for that full-time opportunity requires interns to do so much more. You have to get on with everyone. It just takes one Analyst or HR person to comment on you negatively, and it gets remembered. I remember one case where a summer intern did not get an offer and the I-Bank HR person only had one specific example during the final negative review – a Managing Director had mentioned that there were too many post-it notes on the intern’s desk, which made him appear disorganized. It so happens that this candidate was incredibly organized, but a negative impression by one senior person meant the end to this candidate’s full-time job dream.

You have to appear like you have an incredible appetite for hard work. You have to strike the balance between asking questions so that you can learn, but not asking questions about things you should be able to learn yourself. (Also bear in mind that too many questions can make you look stupid – it’s a balance!)

You have to be seen to helping others (even when very often you will be competing with them!). As an aside, if you haven’t already seen the show “Industry” on HBO/BBC about interning at a bank which is very reminiscent of JP Morgan, then watch it – it contains many good examples of how not to conduct yourself during your internship!

I have written a 4,000+ word guide to help my clients who are doing internships convert their internships into full-time jobs – if you want me to tell you exactly how to do this in the most effective way possible, get in touch!

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