While it isn’t true in all cases, many companies use internships as a way of recruiting talent for full-time regular positions – a “try before you buy” strategy. Turning your internship into a full-time regular job means making sure you clearly demonstrate you are the kind of person they should hire. Who doesn’t want an employee who is dependable, takes initiative, communicates well, works well on a team and shows genuine interest in the company and its products and services. Below are some tips to keep in mind if your goal is to work for the company at which you are interning.
1. The first step is to do an outstanding job with the tasks assigned to you. Exceed expectations. If you are not sure what would exceed expectations, ask. It’s ok to ask your supervisor “what would exceed your expectations on the assignment”. Then, proceed to do so, even if you have to put in a few hours at home, at night, to do so. Go the extra mile.
2. If you complete an assignment and have additional capacity, ask if there are other projects on which you could help.
3. Keep track of what you are achieving during the internship, what progress have you made, what you’ve gotten done.
4. Ask “what’s the best thing I can do to position myself for a full-time job here (after this internship or after I graduate)?”
5. Pay attention to important news shared in the company and/or announced externally. Show interest in what’s going on overall. Ask questions of your supervisor and other experienced staff about the significance of the news, the company direction and key challenges. Then, think about how your skills, knowledge, experience and interests might be matched to those.
6. Follow what entry-level positions are being posted internally and/or externally. Match your skills and qualifications to their requirements. Make two columns on a document, one column on the left labelled Your Requirements; one column on the right labelled My Qualifications and proceed to match your qualifications (whatever you have that matches) with their requirements so anyone can see the alignment.