How to Turn an Internship Into a Job

Posted by on September 27, 2013

Minnesota School of Business-Richfield (MSB) paralegal program chair, Gabrielle Reule, told me she might have a blog story for me.

“I’m wondering if you would like to feature my paralegal graduate, Michael Collins, in a blog article?  He is graduating this quarter with his associate degree but coming back for his bachelor’s,” Gabrielle said. “He landed a great job at Cray, Inc., because of his exceptional performance during his internship there.”

paralegal program

Michael Collins turned his internship into a job before he even graduated.

An awesome story about an awesome student getting an awesome internship that leads to an awesome job – why, yes, yes I would like to write that story.

Michael Collins is graduating this quarter with his associate degree in paralegal. But prior to arriving at MSB, Michael had worked a variety of jobs, none of which motivated him.

“I wanted more for my family’s life and our future,” Michael said.

Michael learned about the internship at Cray Inc, a global leader in supercomputing, through Gabrielle’s predecessor, Rachna Talwar. Since she knew that Michael had a strong background in IT, she thought this internship opportunity would be a good fit for him. And it was.

“Michael came to Cray with a high degree of expertise in all of the job skills he needed to be successful,” said Philip Steffes, Chief Business Counsel at Cray Inc.

His role as an intern consisted of typical paralegal tasks such as research, organizing, and filing. He also drafted Word documents and Excel workbooks.

When a position as a contractor became available at Cray Inc., Michael was able to turn his internship into a job. His role as contractor utilizes his paralegal education, as he deals primarily with contract administration. He reviews contracts and contract language and ensures that everything is documented appropriately.

“Prior to being hired (while working as an intern), Michael was a substantial contributor to Cray’s business objectives—something that was wholly unexpected when we accepted him as an intern,” said Philip. 

Philip also said Michael would not have been considered for the job had he not displayed exceptional aptitude in the following areas:

  •  Microsoft Office (including particularly Word, Excel and PowerPoint
  •  Attention to detail
  • Comfort with verbally interacting with senior personnel at Cray and with representatives of our customers
  • Punctuality
  • Dedication to completing a wide range of tasks that were unlikely to have any long term benefit to him
  • Creativity
  • An aptitude for quickly learning about new technology, processes and business techniques (he’s a very quick study!).

“A former teacher at MSB, whom many paralegal and business students will remember, by the name of Mike Weiner, had the most profound impact on what I’m doing now,” Michael said. “The nuances of contracts, particularly in the language, has stuck with me and plays a daily role in what I do.”

While Michael is set to graduate this quarter and he already has a job, he has chosen to continue his education so that he can receive a bachelor’s degree. There’s a good reason for this.

“To set an example for our daughter,” Michael said. “Both my wife and I are continuing our education on towards higher-level degrees. Parental achievement and the strive for achievement have a high impact on a child’s achievements and success later on in life.”

(Note: he actually included a link to a study to prove his point. As a research-lover, I very much appreciated this.)

“Michael is an exceptional individual and a great representative of Minnesota School of Business,” Philip said.

Yes, yes he is.


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