Externship – A Working Job Interview

Externships can provide many benefits to schools, students, employers, and the community.  Students have the opportunity to gain valuable experience to add to their resume, and employers can benefit from an extensive interview with a potential for a new hire.  The employer gets to see the student’s job skills, work ethic, and attitude before actually extending a job offer — a virtual test drive of a potential employee!  If done effectively, students, the school, and employers can all benefit. Students need to understand that they must treat this part of their training seriously.  The old saying, you have one chance to make a first impression, cannot be over emphasized.  The student must report on time in proper dress uniform and be ready to go to work.  Any assignment given to you on your externship should be completed to the best of your ability and, just like in school, when you need help or are not sure how to proceed, ask for help.  Remember, the employer is evaluating not only you as a potential employee, but also your school.  Remember to communicate with your extern supervisor on a weekly basis.  Also remember, it is your (not your school’s) responsibility to make sure your externship is complete, completed on time, and your documentation regarding your externship is sent to your externship sponsor.  Relying on your extern site to turn in your paperwork could result in delays to your completion and graduation. Your goal for your externship is to secure a job offer.  If the employer does not have an opening, do not get discouraged.  Ask them for a letter of recommendation.  If you did a good job, they will most likely be happy to prepare one for you.  Also remember, employers talk to each other.  They may recommend you to another office that does have an opening. Your externship, if done effectively, may increase your job opportunities, sharpen the skills you learned in the classroom, and enhance your resume and your marketability to potential employers.

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