Turning Your Internship Into a Full Time Job

Fri, Jul 23, 2010

Internship Information

You landed your dream internship. You’ve worked at the company for a few months and you’re set to graduate. All of these things might have you thinking that you would like to turn your intern experience into an actual full-time job you can fall into after you get your diploma.

Here are a few steps to turn an internship into a job:

  1. Communicate what you want to your supervisor. At some point during your work experience, let your boss know that you have really enjoyed working for the company and you think you would be a good fit long-term. Also, creatively show the positive attributes you can bring to the company. “Take charge of your own career development. Ask to have lunch with as many employees and managers as you can in order to learn from them and build relationships,” CollegeSurfing says. “Your active involvement in your internship program and your strong sense of the company’s culture and values will help managers see you as a prospect who is not likely to quit after a few short months.”
  2. Take challenges and risks. “Employers want employees who show initiative and a desire to learn and develop. The majority of employers (59 percent) are more likely to permanently hire a college intern who asks for more responsibilities,” Career Builder says. By asking for challenges and being able to successfully carry them out, you will prove to your employer that you have what it takes.
  3. Be strong and assertive. If someone in the office needs help, step up and be that person who can help them. “Don’t overextend yourself, but raise your hand when a manager asks for help. Don’t just stick to your department, either; volunteer to work in other areas of the company so you get an overview of as many as possible,” Forbes Magazine says.
  4. Act the part. Sure, it would be wonderful to work at a place that respects Casual Friday and lets you wear flip-flops during the summer, but violating company rules isn’t the best way to make sure you’ll be back at the office in the fall. Even if you don’t agree with company policy, it’s best to attempt to be professional. Forbes Magazine tells interns to “act the part,” and “model your wardrobe after those of senior-level colleagues. Treat everyone you meet with respect and professionalism, and don’t badmouth co-workers.” Most importantly, the magazine asserts, “leave your personal life at home.”
  5. End with a good impression. “It may be tempting to spend the last few weeks of your internship coasting, since your mind is drifting to other upcoming responsibilities. But if you’ve got one foot out the door, your complacent attitude will not go unnoticed. Instead, use the final days of the internship program to showcase the unique skills you’ve acquired at the company,” CollegeSurfing says. This also means not leaving early, or doing anything else that could potentially show that you’re not 100 percent interested in your job duties. A positive attitude is hugely valuable and that will contribute to your leaving a good lasting impression. 

By Kelly McLendon. Kelly is studying Environmental Policy and Journalism. She can be reahed at mclendon.kelly@gmail.com.

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