Why Your Internship Is More Important Than Ever

You may be banking on your degree to earn you a job once you graduate, but a report from the Wall Street Journal's Melissa Korn says that a full-time offer is increasingly likely to come from a company you've grown familiar with.

"Banks and consulting firms have long funneled interns into full-time roles," she says, "but companies in other industries are increasingly turning to summer M.B.A. talent when they're ready to make permanent hires, with some locking in candidates nearly a year ahead of their start date."

Korn implies what we already know. You may just end up working for whichever company you interned for. However, the fact that today more and more companies are turning to such a strategy for hiring talent, threatens the all-school-then-work paradigm that some students may stick to.

"The trend suggests optimism on employers' parts, but it also raises the stakes for students, who begin the summer recruiting process almost as soon as they arrive on campus."

In general, Korn said that companies are reporting that 69% of summer interns who applied for full-time positions received offers, according to the Graduate Management Admission Council while the story cites a few college professors who are reporting that a higher percentage of their graduates are entering the work force with an employer that they'd interned for.

It's natural for employers to increase the number of interns they take in for full-time positions, with Caeser's corporate director of talent acquisition Paul King likening the internships as a "try before you buy" deal. All of this (the numbers, the trends) means that for young people interning is becoming more of a necessity during the summer, if not to land a permanent job with those they are interning for, then to at least have leverage against the next guys.

"Even students who don't plan on returning to their internship employers still may need that offer in hand," she says. "Karthik Ramachandran, a recent graduate of Columbia Business School, interned at Booz & Co. last summer but aspired to a full-time job at a larger consulting firm. Having an offer from Booz made him a more attractive applicant."