Each year, around the world, thousands of recent graduates and students head out into the workforce for their first internship. While some head to skyscraping office buildings others work outdoors, in a classroom or even in professional kitchens. No matter what your career goals, there’s an internship out there for everyone – and many interns turn that short experience into a full time job and often, a lifelong career. If you’re thinking this is your year, this internship is the one you want to shape the next few years of your resume, then keep reading for some tips on how to turn an internship into a job.
Find the internship that works for you. Getting an internship where your best friend does might be fun for a summer of hanging out, but if you’re goals are more lofty – doing your research will pan out for the best. If you don’t want to spend your whole experience filing and going on coffee runs for the executive team, think about finding an internship with a smaller company who might really need your help. Chat up former interns to get the real scoop on the experience before signing on to anything.
Ask loads of questions. This is your chance to learn everything you can about the company and all the different career path options they offer. So ask your supervisor anything and everything you can to get the best sense of the way the company is structured and what a potential career path could be for you.
Be comfortable being yourself, but be sure to adapt to the company culture. If we’re talking business suits and high heels, it’s time to go shopping and leave your shorts and flip flops at home. Companies want to hire individuals who can easily be a part of the workplace culture and level of professionalism. Be sure to buckle down and get through your to-do list each day.
Set some goals. If getting a full-time job out of this internship is what you’re after, you’re going to have to get out there and go get it. No one is going to hand it you. Set goals with your workload, networking and even with certain certifications you might need down the road.
Get out there and meet people. A big part of an internship is having the chance to meet different players in the company and learn about what role they have. Be sure to schedule informational interviews with all the execs in leadership positions that interest you. Attend all the company events from bagels in the break room to the holiday party – and don’t be shy. This is your chance to make some key connections.
Stay in touch. There may not be an immediate job opportunity waiting for you at the end of the internship, however something could certainly pop up 3-6 months down the road. Staying in touch with your coworkers and supervisor will help keep you in the forefront of their minds as a potential prospect. Use tools like LinkedIn to stay in tune with company updates and personnel changes that may lead to an open position.
Are you currently an intern or planning to start an internship in the near term? Got any tips to add for how to turn that internship into a full-time job?