They say the best way to your first job, is through an internship. But once you finally have managed to get the internship in the company you want, how do you actually turn this internship into a full-time job offer?
#1 – Choose the right internship
As silly as it sounds, choosing the right internship is step 1 in this process. If you are still looking for an internship or know which company you would like to apply for, try to get in contact with former interns, ask how they have experienced their time in the company and if it was valuable for them. Often small and medium sized companies are more likely to have positions available, which will give you the opportunity to prove that you are a real asset to the company during your internship.
#2 – Network
Networking is really important in this process as well. It might be the first time that you experience the real ‘working-world’, but do not be shy! Engage with your full-time colleagues, the seniors and other interns. These are the people that will write your reference and can recommend you for positions.
If they have a volleyball-, intern-, or pancake event, attend all of them! That is where you will meet people from other departments and can build further on the relations with the people you already know. Always keep in mind, these are your colleagues, not your friends!
If you are a little bit shy and do not really know how to engage, go attend lunch in the cafeteria. You will sit with different people almost everyday and slowly but surely will build your own little network throughout the company.
#3 – Ask questions
You and your notebook should be inseparable. Write relevant and important things down and ask questions when tasks are unclear or if you want further information. Do not be shy, there are no stupid questions, it will show that you have a real interest in the company, that you want to engage, that you want to learn and grow and people will always appreciate that.
#4 – Be pro-active and take initiatives
Never sit still! Always keep yourself busy with the given project and help others where needed. When the manager asks for help, raise your hand, when he asks who can be here at 6am tomorrow for a project, raise your hand, who can stay a little bit longer, raise your hand. Ask if you can help out on another department as well so you can experience the company from another angle. Show them you can handle the responsibilities of a full-time job. But with all this of course do not overextend yourself.
#5 – Set goals and ask for feedback
In the first week of your internship go have a chat with your manager to set your learning goals. Tell what skills you would like to develop and always be positive about your work. Make sure you have a weekly meeting to evaluate what went well and what you could improve. “Not every task you’re going to do is something you’ll enjoy, but have the attitude that these are building blocks to your career. Once you show you can be trusted with small tasks, managers will give you more responsibility” – Tom Musbach, formerly of Yahoo.
#6 – Be professional
Always be on time, if you start 9am, arriving at 9am is late! Keep the company dress-code, treat everyone professionally and with respect. We all want to peek on social media from time to time, but leave that for your breaks and especially do not talk bad about other interns or colleagues (also not on social media). And like Kelly Cutrone would say ”If you have to cry, go outside!’
#7 – Keep in contact after your internship
If this all does not result in an immediate job offer or there is not a position available when you leave, do not be upset. Keep in contact with the people you were most in contact with and let your interest for future positions know. If something comes up that is suitable, you will be one of the persons who they will think of.
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