From Intern to Associate: Career Advice for Students

Are you a student or recent graduate looking to kick-start your career after graduation? Alex Lopez, a former intern and current Gartner Account Manager, is sharing his career advice on how you can successfully transition from intern to full-time associate here at Gartner. 

When I first answered the phone call from Sarah, a campus recruiter for Gartner, I had no idea what this company was or the immense impact it would have on my life. Fast-forward to a few months and many Google searches later, I was ecstatic to receive an offer to join the 2018 summer internship class in Fort Myers, Florida. I packed up my car and drove across the state for what I believed would only be a summer internship. Little did I know those 10 weeks would be the most enriching of my life thus far.

From the beginning, Gartner fostered a community of collaboration, innovation and a champion mindset. Gartner provided a formative and enriching environment created specifically for its interns to develop and thrive. During these 10 weeks, Gartner provided me with every tool possible to control my own success. From educational training about the world’s leading research and advisory firm to workshops and role-plays about the astonishing things Gartner can accomplish for its clients, this company instills in its employees the value of becoming lifelong learners.

Fast-forward again, this time to a permanent road trip to Fort Myers, and becoming a full-time account manager. It was no surprise that I accepted an opportunity to continue my Gartner journey. The process was intimidating, as making the transition from intern to full-time associate required a more in-depth and thorough understanding of the company. Although I was apprehensive, the people at Gartner reassured me that the company was confident in my ability to flourish in my new role.

Reflecting on my short yet eventful journey with Gartner has given me insight about how to ensure a smooth transition between roles:

  • Treat every day as Day 1. Whether you interned at a company or worked there previously, there is always something new to learn. Becoming a creature of habit is dangerous; be open to learning new information each day as if it is your first day on the job.
  • Fail. And fail fast. Learning how to use your mistakes to fuel your successes is one of the most valuable lessons I learned during my internship. The earlier you can accept that you will make mistakes, the easier it is to grow.
  • Be coachable. Having an open mindset allows you to optimize your productivity. Even if you’ve done something 100 times and feel you have mastered the craft, there is always a better technique or a more efficient way to accomplish a task.
  • Always ask for help. Every person around you knows something you do not, and a combination of insights can challenge the status quo. To quote Aristotle: “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”

Progressing from an internship to a full-time role with the same company is beneficial, yet does not necessarily mean you are better equipped than anyone else. Remembering why you accepted an opportunity will give you the confidence to succeed at anything you set your mind to. If you are seeking a fast-growing company with an array of career opportunities, think Gartner.

Explore our full-time early career opportunities for students and recent graduates here.