The goal of any internship is to provide professional experience. Smart college grads, however, should realize that an internship could turn into one of their first jobs after college. Here are 10 easy tips to turn your internship into a full-time job.
Ask questions. The most promising sign to a business owner is an employee who’s eager to learn. Showing an interest in the company and its day-to-day functions is one of the easiest ways to give the impression that you’re interested in more than just an internship.
Get to know everyone. Building relationships with the office employees will benefit you more than you know. It’s common for hiring managers to speak with people who work with you to get a better idea of how you fit into the company. If you keep to yourself and never give anyone a chance to get to know you, your manager might decide to hire someone who is more social.
Make your intentions known. If you decide that you want to stay with the company long-term, speak with your manager. Letting him know you’re serious about your position with the company could determine whether or not he chooses to keep you on after your internship ends.
Be professional. Of course, showing up on time and dressing the part are expected, but you need to go further. Avoid Skyping your friends at the office or taking extra long lunch breaks. Prove to your manager that you’re willing to do the work and aren’t just looking for an easy paycheck.
Volunteer to help on extra projects. Another aspect that really excites a manager is someone who’s willing to pitch in during busy times. Even if you aren’t familiar with every aspect of the project, make it clear that you’re willing to learn or help out on another front.
Ask to learn another aspect of the business. It’s also a good idea to show interest in learning about another part of the company. Nothing says dedication like taking the initiative to learn something completely new.
Don’t complain about any task. As an intern, you’re going to get the jobs that no one else wants. Perform them like they’re the most important tasks in the company. Showing that you’re willing to do the grunt work will let others know that you’re serious about learning and growing within the company.
Learn from your mistakes. Your boss expects you to mess up. What he’s more interested in is how you handle the mistake. To ensure that you won’t make the same error twice, write it down on a sticky note and put it somewhere you’ll see it on a regular basis. Showing your boss that you’re committed to learning from your mistakes will go a long way when he’s deciding whether or not to hire you full time.
Keep in touch. If your internship ends without a job offer, make sure to keep in touch with your manager. Even if it’s just an email every few months, let him know you’re still around. He might hire you when a position opens up or, at the very least, give you a recommendation for a new job or internship.
Don’t accept an offer just to have a job. If you’re one of the lucky ones who do receive an offer for a full-time job, make sure it’s what you really want. Accepting a job just to have a steady paycheck might seem like a good idea early in your career, but you won’t be happy. If you decide the job’s not for you, make it clear that you’re very appreciative of the offer but don’t feel it’s a good fit for your career goals.