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Nearly 60 Percent of Hiring Managers Likely to Hire College Interns on a Permanent Basis, Survey Finds

Chicago, September 17, 2008 - Looking to get your foot in the door with a potential employer? Start looking for an internship today. Nearly one-in-four hiring managers (24 percent) said they plan to hire college interns in the first half of 2009 while another 12 percent plan to do so as early as the fourth quarter of 2008. The majority of employers who plan to hire interns (59 percent) reported they are likely to hire their college interns as full-time, permanent employees. This is according to a nationwide survey of more than 3,100 hiring managers from,’s college job search site.

In addition to gaining valuable "real world" experience, college interns can replenish dwindling bank accounts. Sixty-two percent of employers who are recruiting college interns said they plan to pay them $10 or more per hour. Twenty-three percent will pay north of $15 per hour while nearly one-in-ten (9 percent) will dish out $20 or more. Only 14 percent of hiring managers said they offer unpaid positions.

"It’s a competitive job market out there and the first thing employers look for is relevant experience," said Rosemary Haefner, Vice President of Human Resources at "Internships not only help to build skill sets and establish a successful track record, they offer great networking opportunities to land a position after graduation. Apply early and always maintain a level of professionalism, enthusiasm and quality in execution."

When asked which factors most influence their decision to hire a college intern on a permanent basis, 77 percent of hiring managers stated it is the candidate’s ability to produce quality work on time. Seventy-six percent pointed to the candidate’s critical-thinking and problem-solving skills while 73 percent cited the candidate’s level of professionalism.

Haefner recommends the following tips to transition your internship into a full-time gig:

    1)Treat your internship like an extended job interview - because it is. Arrive on time, beat deadlines and consistently deliver strong work.

    2)Seek out more challenges – Employers want employees who show initiative and a desire to learn and develop. The majority of employers (59 percent) who plan to hire interns are more likely to permanently hire a college grad who asks for more responsibilities.

    3)Ask good questions – Employers know you don’t have all the answers. In fact, 46 percent said candidates who come to them with thoughtful questions have a better chance of getting hired full-time.

    4)Remember the golden rule - Always be respectful, address co-workers courteously and don’t get caught up in office gossip.

    5)Leave a positive impression – Show enthusiasm for the projects you’re working on and the company overall, don’t complain and refrain from emailing or talking to friends.

Survey Methodology
The survey was conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Interactive on behalf of among 3,169 hiring managers and human resource professionals (employed full-time; not self-employed; with at least significant involvement in hiring decisions) between May 22 and June 13, 2008. Percentages for some questions are based on a subset of U.S. employers, based on their responses to certain questions. With a pure probability sample of 3,169, one could say with a 95 percent probability that the overall results have a sampling error of +/- 1.74 percentage points. Sampling error for data from sub-samples is higher and varies.

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