Students: Turn an internship into a job


Students who complete internships tend to make more money than those who don't. Here's how you can cash in.

As the number of college students participating in internships grows, more schools are offering structured programs and more employers are expecting graduates to enter the workforce with real-world experience. A recent study published by Rutgers University found that students who completed internships during the course of their degrees earned a median salary $6,680 higher than those who did not.

Veterinary students, have you looked into completing an internship while you’re in school? If so, here’s how to turn that internship into an offer.

Know where you stand. Be proactive and request feedback from the practice owner and your co-workers. Make it easy for them by providing bullet points highlighting what you’ve learned and your key accomplishments. Send this information to your manager in advance and request time to discuss in person. This will demonstrate your initiative and how serious you are about ongoing career development. After receiving feedback, honestly reflect and assess what you could have done better.

Communicate your interest. Don’t assume that the practice owner knows you’re interested in working for his veterinary practice—let him or her know. Share specifics about what you liked and how you can add value to the practice.

Stay connected. Use LinkedIn to stay in touch with former colleagues. Be sure to update your professional experiences and “get recommended” through the site. Be discerning with your Facebook interactions since most people use this as a social rather than a professional network.

Help make introductions. Now that you’re familiar with what your practice owner cares about, find ways to help him or her make connections. If he or she is interested in a particular area of research and you know a faculty member who happens to be an expert, find out if there is mutual interest to be connected. This is a great opportunity to create a win-win situation.

Show appreciation. Send a handwritten thank you note to the practice owner and other colleagues who were helpful during your experience. Handwritten notes will help you stand out over email. In addition, show gratitude to those who helped you land the internship and share what you’ve learned.

It’s not easy to land a job these days, so following this advice can only help your chances. And your paycheck.

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