After Clint Pyle’s summer internship with CNL Group, Inc. (now CNL Financial Group) ended, he asked if he could continue to work for the Orlando, FL, firm part-time during the school year, and the company accepted. From an internship in which Pyle engaged in relatively simple financial tasks, such as bank reconciliations and other lower-level financial projects, the finance grad spent two full years working part-time for CNL.
Pyle’s plan to use his CNL internship as a springboard paid off. “I was offered a full-time position upon graduation as a tax accountant,” he says. “I started two weeks after graduation preparing various federal and state tax returns, as well as preparing work papers for public-accounting firms to prepare other tax returns.”
Pyle’s experience is not unusual. As noted in the Introduction to this book, employers in NACE’s 2008 Experiential Education Survey reported that nearly 36 percent of the new college graduates they hired from the Class of 2007 came from their own internship programs, up from 30 percent from the Class of 2005. Employers have already had the opportunity to observe the strengths of interns they convert into full-time positions. “We hired several interns to full-time jobs upon graduation, and I noticed that the interns’ performance was superior to that of recent college grads just beginning with our company,” observes Cory Petcoff, a business administration graduate.
While some interns simply luck into job offers, others, like Pyle, make a conscious effort to propel their internships into jobs.
“I was quite proactive in my efforts to turn the internship into a full-time job,” recalls Pyle, who later became a senior financial analyst in the Treasury Department of The St. Joe Company, Jacksonville, FL. “At the end of the internship, I approached my manager and was very honest and open about my goals and plans. In turn, they offered me the ability to do the part-time work until graduation. As graduation neared, I again approached my manager, as well as my human resources representative, and discussed my future possibilities.”