An internship is an excellent opportunity to acquire invaluable work experience, prove your worth and—fingers crossed—walk away with a solid offer of employment!
Check out these five ways to optimize your chances of turning an internship into your dream job.
1. Find opportunities to demonstrate your skills
Look for opportunities that allow you to prove the full breadth of your skills and talents. The more resourceful you are, the more likely you are to impress. Showing versatility and flexibility may be the very thing that leads to a full-time position.
2. Be self-sufficient and proactive
Before requesting help, ask yourself, “Is this something I can figure out on my own? Can I Google this and find an answer?” Ask for clarification when it’s needed, but always try to find answers on your own first. Impress them with your dedication and ingenuity, and they’ll soon realize that you’re not someone whose hand needs to be held through every task.
3. Learn from your co-workers
Get to know the people you work with and don’t be afraid to ask questions when the time is right. There’s no better way to glean information about the company’s hiring practices than by talking to those in the know. What does the company look for in an employee? What should and shouldn’t you do to get that coveted job offer? Did any of your co-workers start as interns? What wisdom can they now impart? The more you know, the better your chances of being hired at the end of your internship!
4. Highlight talents you have outside the workplace
You want to be a team player and show how easily you’ll fit in, so highlight skills you may have outside of the workplace. Does the company have a softball team for which you could be an ace pitcher? If so, let them know! Are they involved in community projects that you can contribute something special to? Can you belt out a hit song with the best of them on the company’s karaoke night? Opportunities to be “part of the team” are everywhere, so keep your eyes peeled! The more you contribute, the more you’ll increase your chances of being made a permanent part of the team.
5. Keep in touch!
If you aren’t hired upon finishing your internship, don’t assume that you never will be. If you performed well and proved yourself, keep in touch! Let them know you’re still interested in a position with their organization. Keep them updated on any new developments, such as classes you may be taking or community work you may be involved in. Stay in touch with co-workers who may have the inside scoop on when positions will be opening up and express interest right away. Remember: The best way to ensure that the company remains interested is to remind them that you remain interested!