How to get a return offer during your internship
Congratulations! You landed an internship at a company you've always wanted to work at and—not to anyone's surprise—you loved it. The summer is winding down, and you've decided that you'd like to work at this company full-time. Making that decision a reality depends on you getting a return
Congratulations! You landed an internship at a company you've always wanted to work at and—not to anyone's surprise—you loved it. The summer is winding down, and you've decided that you'd like to work at this company full-time. Making that decision a reality depends on you getting a return offer. In this piece, we'll walk you through some of the Simplify team's tips to maximize your chances at getting that invite back.
Return Offer Basics
For those of you that aren't familiar, or are working your first internship, a return offer is pretty simple—it's when a company gives a job offer to a person who interned at the company to join the company again after they graduate from school. The idea is that you've already cemented yourself as a fit within company culture, and showed potential to be a consistent top performer, so the firm wants you back!
The timeline for these offers is variable based on the internship—some managers like extending offers towards the end of the process (this is the case with some investment banking internships), and some internships have essentially guaranteed return offers (this is common in buy-side finance like Private Equity). Typical return offers are extended a few weeks before the end of the internship.
The main advantage of an intern securing a return offer is the flexibility and competitive advantage it offers them in the job search process. If you perform well over the summer and find yourself with a return offer in hand, then you're afforded the benefit of not having to interview for a full-time role at the company, along with a safety net of sorts—you know you have a role ready for you upon graduation. This usually enables the intern to go back to school and pursue projects that might interest them, or enjoy their last year of college without having to worry about the job search.
Earning a Return Offer
There's many pieces of advice on how to land a return offer online, but much of it is disorganized and outdated. Here's some of our curated tips on the best way to earn a return offer:
- Keep track of your projects: As a summer intern, you'll probably be working on a broad range of projects and across several functions—an experience that makes it easy to lose track of what you've actually done. Keeping track of your projects, meeting notes, etc. all make the foundation for a productive conversation with your manager where you might ask for feedback or discuss your mistakes—both traits that demonstrate maturity, and the fact that you're willing to learn and better yourself.
- Make meaningful connections with your team: Much like the tip above, it's important to remember that a large part of getting a return offer is having your team advocate for you. You want to give them a reason to vouch for you, and a way to make a compelling case that keeping you on board will make a real, positive difference.
- Ask questions: This might seem hard to do—there's a lot of questions you could be asking, and you might feel nervous about asking something that may sound silly. It's important for you to remember that in the corporate world, people associate your willingness to ask questions with interest, not incompetency.
Now that you have a good idea of what it takes to get a return offer, you're ready to start applying! Make sure that the roles you apply to fit your interests and skillsets—remember, part of earning the offer is convincing the team that you'll be a good fit with them!