The biggest goal for internships is to land a PPO, or pre-placement offer, in order to become a full-time employee. Here's how.

How to Get a Pre-Placement Offer (PPO) From Your Internship

After sending out countless resumes and cover letters, you’ve finally landed that dream internship. However, there is (unfortunately) still a lot to be done. The biggest goal for internships is to land a PPO, or pre-placement offer, in order to become a full-time employee at the company you are interning at. 

There are various ways to gain a PPO, however it can depend on the company and internship type. Let’s talk about exactly what a PPO looks like, how some companies may offer them, and how you can advocate for one at your own internship. 

What is a PPO?

Pre-placement offers can look different for different organizations and companies. However, most are offered to soon-to-be-graduates, as they would most likely be able to work full time in the near future. No matter where you decide to intern, there’s good news for you. Most companies actually want to give PPOs to great interns, with 70% of interns being offered a job position!

Depending on the internship, there are various ways companies can offer PPOs. Some companies such as Amazon may conduct a semi-formal interview at the end of your internship to discuss your results and why you would be a good fit for a full time offer. Others may have weekly or monthly meetings with different department heads to see where you might be a good fit. No matter what they’re like, PPOs are the main indicators of a successful internship-to-job pipeline and help to make sure you have a job after graduation. 

Examples of PPOs

Based on the internship, pre-placement offers can be offered in different ways. For example, internships at Google offer PPOs at the end of the internship if you have good results. Other internships can verbally offer PPOs at the initial interview and build an mentorship program with a PPO in mind. Each organization has different expectations of what a PPO would entail, so the best recommendation is to talk with your internship supervisor about whether there is a PPO offer in mind, and if not, if an offer can be discussed. 

One of the most famous organizations to offer a PPO is Walmart, with an almost 100% rate of offering a full-time position. Other organizations, such as Microsoft, may be more selective depending on the existing hiring practices and current economic situation. 

How to get a PPO

Even if the company you are interning at doesn’t verbally offer a pre-placement offer during the internship, there are still ways to ensure that you will get an offer. The most important advice is to take initiative in every aspect of your internship. Make your intentions clear and let your internship supervisor know that your ultimate goal is to get a PPO at the end of your internship, and proactively take steps to learn more about the company. Whether it’s through speaking with your supervisor regarding job offers, or working with different departments throughout your time at the company, showing initiative is the #1 way to get noticed. 

Your actions during your internship influence how the organization’s employees view you and your efforts. Be confident and don’t be afraid to ask questions with different people throughout your internship. Again, if your ultimate goal is to get a PPO, reminding the company of what your intentions are will allow them to reflect over your possible employment. 

Remember- if you have the skills to get an internship, you 100% have the skills to get a full time offer. However, by working with different departments and getting feedback, you are establishing a reputation within the company, and thus it would be much easier to see you as a future full-time employee. Rather than a faceless intern, people would be able to remember you, and the skills you provide, more easily. 

Finally, some companies may have a PPO interview. Reflecting on your time at the company before you interview will help you to gain a better idea of what your results are and what you could offer as a full time employee. It can also help better answer questions at PPO interviews, which can be known to be notoriously difficult. Here are some example questions that may be asked:

  • Can you explain briefly about any internship projects you may have worked on?
  • How was your experience at Company Name?
  • Why should we hire you? What are your strengths and weaknesses?

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