If you landed an internship this summer, you have a valuable opportunity that can determine the direction of the rest of your career. It’s easy to just show up and go through the motions, do what is asked of you and see it as a temporary situation. Many a successful CEO started out as an intern, and turning an internship into a full-time job is something you should at least be considering.
But if you want a future with the company you are interning with, you must play your cards right. Many businesses hire interns to test drive their abilities, with the idea in mind of eventually taking them on full-time. Even if you prefer not to stay with that particular company, it’s important to make the most of the opportunity so you can learn more about the industry and make professional connections. Here are some tips on how to turn an internship into a full-time job:
1) Take Pride in Menial Work
In the beginning of an internship, it’s common to be assigned lower-skilled, repetitive tasks such as filing and data entry. Most employers want to see how you can handle an easier, though often more boring workload before they start giving you more challenging and interesting projects. If you are interested in turning an internship into a job, show dedication and eagerness with whatever tasks you are given. If you complain, slack off or act like any task is above you, it will send a red flag to the employer that you will be difficult to work with as a full-time employee.
2) Be Educated and Aware
To show you are a fit for the company and the industry you are interning with, devote time every day to update yourself on any news that relates to the business you are involved in. You will perform your job more effectively if you are aware of current events in the industry, and it will make it easier for you to have intelligent conversations with the people you are working with which will help you build relationships. Showing passion for the company and industry to the employer will increase your chances of turning an internship into a full-time job.
3) Play By the Rules
Since you aren’t a full-time employee yet and are probably younger than much of the staff around you, you will need to take any and every opportunity to prove you are professional enough to fit into the company culture. This means following all company rules to a T, including the dress code, when you take breaks and for how long and whether personal Internet use is frowned upon. If you show up with clothing that looks sloppy and juvenile and spend half the work day on Facebook, you will have a much harder time turning an internship into a full-time job.
4) Extend Yourself Wherever Possible
To win over your co-workers during your internship, volunteer as much as possible to relieve them of any extra work they have. This will show initiative and that you aren’t likely to waste company time and need micromanaging. This will not only help you turn your internship into a full-time job, it will also give you a chance to learn about different jobs in the company and expand your skillset.
5) Make it Known You Want a Future with the Company
Your employer may never know you are interested in turning your internship into a full-time job if you don’t tell them. To set yourself up for success, when you accept the internship ask the employer about full-time opportunities at the company. Mention that you are open to a future with the company if the internship goes well. If you are going back to school at the end of the internship, stay in touch with the company and keep an eye out for job openings that interest you.
Author: Jessica Cody
Jessica Cody, a native of Fairfield County, Connecticut, has a background in online marketing and public relations. Currently, she works at VHMNetwork LLC in the role of Marketing Analyst. She is a graduate of the University of Connecticut, where she studied Journalism and Political Science. She is also an avid runner with a passion for the outdoors.