How to Turn Your Internship into a Full-Time Job

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Even for experienced students such as those in TCU’s full-time MBA program, internships can be a critical career development component. An internship helps students add experience in their targeted field or industry while rounding out skill sets and adding to their network of potential employers.

TCU’s MBA students complete internships during the summer break, but it’s not unusual for students to continue working for that company (or another) on a project basis in the second year of the program. In recent years, about 40 to 45 percent of TCU’s second-year MBA students continued projects for their intern companies, typically working 10 to 15 hours per week.

Many of these internships and projects result in full-time positions following graduation.  

Andrew Brisbin is a second-year MBA student in the Neeley School of Business and has recently accepted a full-time job offer from his internship company, AT&T.

Though his background is in corporate finance, Brisbin’s MBA concentration is split between marketing and finance. Over the summer, he worked in a logistics analyst role as part of AT&T’s leadership development program. The program intentionally places students in areas outside of their current skills and experience.

“The goal of the internship is to get a gauge of what your strengths are and how you handle challenges,” says Brisbin. “Most of the time I was learning new things and exploring different skill sets.”

During his internship with AT&T, Brisbin’s responsibilities included the development of a model that projects workforce management performance, tackling such questions as whether having 10 more people in a call center will affect productivity.

He spent his time developing the projection tool and ensuring data availability and usefulness of the tool to management. Brisbin says he discovered his management strengths, and his supervisors at AT&T were privy to how he solves problems, meets challenges and applies what he learns over the long-term.

"They consider how you solved the problem and what you did to solve the problem versus the result,” he says.

Though his skills were tested, in the end, the internship was highly reflective of his strengths, which helped him get placed in his full-time management role.

In his new position, Brisbin will have a frontline management role, and he likely won’t have any interaction with the project he worked on over the summer. Instead, he will help a groups of technicians perform their day-to-day routines.

For students interested in transitioning their internship into a full-time position, Brisbin offers the following advice:

Decide whether or not your internship company can satisfy your personal goals. Does the work you do at the company offer personal fulfillment? Do the company's values align with your own? Try to understand what the company is doing big-picture and whether that’s the direction you want to go.

Be willing to learn and try new things. "People love a learning attitude," says Brisbin. Offering a fresh perspective and being passionate about what you do is critical.

Take advantage of the resources offered within your MBA program. “The Neeley School of Business classroom really prepares you for managing your learning and for tackling business,” says Brisbin.

Know what factors determine success. Learn what is most important to the company and what’s critical for not only your success, but also the success of the company as a whole. What do you bring to the table?

Brisbin starts his full-time job with AT&T in July 2015 in the company’s Dallas office.

Interested in getting a TCU MBA? Request more info about the Neeley School of Business graduate program or apply now.
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