Don’t Be Afraid to Ask

We all take on internships for a variety of reasons—to add to our resumes, make connections in our fields of interest, and to gain invaluable work experience. But one of the main reasons we seek out internships and dedicate long hours during our busy semesters to internships, especially as juniors and seniors is in hopes to land a job after we graduate.

I’m not graduating until December, however, I’m still always thinking about my future. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at the Hatcher Group thus far this semester and because I will be spending the summer in Washington, D.C., I really wanted to stay and work full time there this summer.

In my past experiences at the Washington Post as a freshman, I gathered up the nerve to ask if I could stay on as an intern for another semester. I was really worried about asking, but I knew the worst they could say was no. I’m so glad that I asked because I was able to stay at the Post for another semester enabling me to make stronger connections to the people I worked with. I still use some of my references from the Post—if I had not stayed on for an extra semester to get to know them more, my connections there would have been similar to every other intern they ever had. Instead, I felt that I stood out in some way.

I was really nervous again about asking to stay with the Hatcher Group this summer, but again I’m so glad that I asked. I didn’t receive an immediate answer after I asked—it took some time and it had to be talked about amongst the team. But it all turned out in my favor. I’m really excited to say that I will be staying on as a full-time fellow this summer at the Hatcher Group. I think that the experience will be invaluable as I continue on my career path. In addition, I get to work with an amazing group of people who hopefully will not just think of me as an intern passing through, but as a valued colleague and someone who really contributes substantially to their work. In turn, I know that I will be able to ask them for references in my future.

My advice to anyone in an internship that they currently love would be to not be afraid of asking to stay on for another semester or even ask for a job after graduation. Even if they say no, they will know that you are interested in their work and will maybe even keep you in mind if a job opens up in the future. So don’t be afraid!