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As the popularity of internship programs has grown among companies worldwide so has the importance of achieving one if you are a college student. Recently, Northwestern University Career Services has heard from a number of students who have participated in internship programs this past summer. And as a result of their achievements they have been offered a job following graduation with their internship employer.

For some students with job offers before the Fall Quarter even begins (we start really late here at NU), you might imagine that this is a stress-free experience. They are all set. They have their job offer and they can just put their Senior Year on “Cruise Control”. Unfortunately, the appointments, calls and emails UCS has received have been anything but stress-free. Students really want to make sure they are making the right decision to accept a full-time job offer so soon and without interviewing with other companies. For those students (and the curious) here are some questions to ask yourself- When Your Internship Turns into a Job Offer.

  1. First- ask yourself… Did I like the experience I had as an intern and can I see myself contributing to this organization? If you answered yes, than that is priceless. Your internship experience will be very telling as to your future success and place in the company.
  2. Next- ask yourself… Did I enjoy working with my team and co-workers? If you again answered, yes… then hold on to this opportunity because finding people you enjoy working with is one of the most important aspects of your fit with a job/career/company.
  3. Finally- ask yourself… Did I feel support from my supervisor and will my future supervisor be even more supportive and good for my future professional development? If your supervisor gave you just the right about of creative freedom, respected your opinion, allowed you to participate in activities outside of the norm, will support you professionally and have your back when times get tough- well then you’ve found a great place to work. Don’t over look your fortune to have experienced this and to be able to know in the future that you have a possible mentor waiting for you at your job following graduation.

For those of you worried about needing to give your answer within a specific time-frame- Northwestern University Career Services will encourage you to ask your employer who has granted you an offer to confirm the deadline for which you need to accept or decline the offer. You may or may not be able to ask for an extension to that deadline.

If that offer if prior to the end of Fall On Campus Recruiting at Northwestern, you can tell your employer via phone (yes I said phone on purpose- that’s the best way to communicate on this topic) that UCS recommends that Northwestern students have until December 7th to accept or decline offers. We cannot stop an employer from requiring you to confirm before December 7th, but we believe students have the right to make an informed decision. Ultimately, we operate under the National Association of Colleges and Employers policy that offers must be at least given with a minimum of two weeks to accept or decline the offer.

Northwestern Students or Employers: If you have more questions about this topic the best thing to do is to call and make an appointment at UCS. Call 847-491-3700 M-F 8:30am-5:00pm.