#InternLife: From Part-Time Intern to Full-Time Employee
It’s not uncommon when beginning an internship, you might think to yourself “could this lead to a job?” or “would I be happy working here?” According to a 2012 study by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, 60 percent of paid internships turned into full-time job offers. In the last two years at Sage, six interns have been hired as full-time employees. I was able to sit down with some of the most recent interns-turned-employees and get their thoughts on the internship and their transition to full-time.
Mimi Nemec and Mary Beck, both public relations account coordinators here at Sage, began as summer interns in 2018 but started their full-time positions in July and August of the same summer. The key to landing the internship here at Sage according to Mimi and Mary? Networking.
“I reached out to someone I knew from Splunk [one of Sage’s clients] and told them more about my interests in PR and they connected me to Julie [Partner and SVP at Sage Communications], said Mary. "After speaking with Julie, I felt Sage was the perfect fit and expressed interest in the internship position. At least 70% of jobs are not listed, so networking is essential for students."
Mimi followed by saying, “I found out about Sage’s internship program through an acquaintance who recommended it to me, which just goes to show how important networking is, even for students! It can seem scary to network, but you never know what opportunities these new connections can offer.”
As interns they both felt as though they were doing what Mimi considered “real work” instead of the stereotypical coffee runs and closet organizing. During the internship, Mary found a mentor within Sage who helped her "navigate the growing pains of post-grad” and the beginning of her career.
Becoming a full-time employee comes with a time of transition, even from intern to full-time, which was described to me as "quick and easy." Because they each had become a part of the company culture as interns, the transition for them from interns to full-time employees was seamless.
Sage Communications’ Intern Coordinator, Tommy Morgan agreed that fitting into company culture plays a big role in someone getting that full-time job offer after his or her internship. “We want someone who will jump right into a company that has a young and energetic culture," said Tommy. "Since we’re a creative agency, we hope that our interns will feel empowered to bring ideas to the table and teach us things we don’t know. We learn as much from our interns as they learn from us!”
A few pieces of advice from former interns:
Don’t be afraid to take on a project you don't feel ready for;
Take initiative and learn as much as you can to prepare yourself for a full-time role;
Practice saying "yes" – you never know when the perfect opportunity will present itself if you aren't open to new things;
Ask questions and take risks
Not all internships will come with a full-time job offer when it’s over, but it is likely that you will be making connections that lead to that first job out of college. Internships are the perfect opportunity to find what work you like and areas you need to grow. However, you won’t be able to make the most out of your time at an organization if you choose to idly stand by. The good news is that your coworkers and intern coordinators want to help you learn and grow and for you to be successful! Take your future into your own hands and make your internship what you want it to be.
Are you looking to gain professional experience at an agency that will offer you a collaborative and hands-on internship program? Sage Communications is an award-winning agency that represents Fortune 500 companies, nonprofit organizations and startup companies from across the United States.
Consider applying to be a Sage-tern here: https://aboutsage.bamboohr.com/jobs/view.php?id=29
Erika Ortner is a Stafford, Virginia native and is a PR Assistant Account Coordinator at Sage Communications. She is a student at George Mason University and has managed communication plans for The National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention and the school’s communication department through courses during her education. She has also worked on communication projects with the Virginia National Guard Youth and Family Programs and Ebenezer United Methodist Church, along with others. In her free time she can be found volunteering with local organizations or singing with her church’s worship team.