Think about it. You have an internship with XYZ company; literally a foot in the door (if you’re not telecommuting) with an actual employer. If you see the next 3-5 months as a period of never-ending coffee fetching, copy making, and “Hey you, do this” just to pay your workplace “dues”, it’s seriously time to start re-thinking your career plan and professional purpose and re-adjust your attitude. The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) reports in the 2010 Experiential Education Survey that, “of the students hired from the Class of 2009, 44.6 percent came from employers’ internship programs and 34.9 percent came from their co-op programs.” That means nearly half of new hires were pulled from internships with the company! Interns represent less of a hiring risk than their non-interning counterparts because they’re more familiar with the company, and likewise the company has tested them and knows what they can deliver. So stop drudging along in your internship and take action on these top tips for turning your internship into a full-time job.
1.Connect: Network with professional staff and show a sincere interest in learning about their jobs. Take the time to learn as much as you can about how the company operates, focusing not just on your particular area/division. Participate in company gatherings in order to meet as many new people as possible. Identify and connect with a professional who show an extra interest in developing interns’ skills. As an intern and a student you are in the prime position for someone to take you under their wing and show you the ropes.
2.Contribute: Show the employer that you are a vital team member by contributing new ideas and posing thoughtful questions even if they aren’t always openly accepted or immediately answered. If you complete all assigned tasks refrain from emailing friends or sneaking around on Facebook. Ask for more challenging assignments and volunteer to assist with different projects taking place in the office. Employers want to see that you are engaged in the work you are doing and not just getting by.
3.Commit: Treat each day like an interview by showing up on time or early, focusing on the task at hand, and beating deadlines. Commit to working enthusiastically and maintain a positive attitude, even when the tasks aren’t glamorous. This will make you stand out as the “go-to” intern, the dependable one everyone wants on their team. Leaving your employer with a gleaming impression at the end of the internship will keep you top of their list of must-have new hires.
So don’t take the back seat and snooze through your internship. Be the kind of intern who adds value to the company. Though not all internships will turn into full-time jobs, you can substantially increase the chances by following the tips above. And, if your employer isn’t able to hire you full-time, I’ll bet he has friends at other companies that will be looking for the top talent and asking him for recommendations.
Taking Advantage of Your Internship