Internship Tuesday – How to turn your internship into a full-time job – Part 2

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This is part II of How to turn your internship into a full-time job. Please click HERE to read part I of this series.

One thing that goes through the minds of many students, especially seniors or graduating students as they get closer to wrapping-up their internship or co-op is how to convert to full time position after they complete their internship experience. This is especially typical for students who really enjoyed their internships and would like to continue their career with their employer. Want to learn how to land that full time position out of your internship? If yes, this article is for you so, read on!

In part 1, we covered some useful strategies such as being an invaluable intern, don’t be afraid to ask questions, network with the entire staff, not just the people on your team. Here are a few more strategies that can help you land a full time position out of that internship you love so much.

“You may do foolish things, but do them with enthusiasm!” – Colette

Be enthusiastic: I have a saying that a “positive attitude is contagious but a negative mind burns like wild fire” so go to work with bucket loads of enthusiasm. Don’t look at your internship as a “mere internship”, rather look at it as a stepping stone to your next great career opportunity. Embrace the experience and have a positive attitude. You may have only been at the company for a short while and perhaps your internship might only last a few months but seek to make your mark while you’re there; speak of the company and the position as if you’ve been fully invested in the success of the company. Keep abreast with what’s going on in the firms market or the industry the company is operating in. You will more likely be given more meaningful projects to work on if you are fully engaged in what is happening in and around the company. A few simple ways of showing your enthusiasm and reliability are by arriving to work early and leaving late if necessary, don’t settle on meeting the bare minimum thresholds, go above and beyond. Ask questions, be friendly with all staff, always be willing to give your assistance and don’t be afraid to give your fresh perspective. If you’re like me, always give your co-workers a good high five!

Be Flexible: Sometimes, your employer might want to shake things up a little and might modify your job description or create a new position altogether. Don’t always expect to do the tasks that

“Do not call any work menial until you have watched a proud person do it.”― Robert Brault.
Be willing to do the menial jobs. It’s all part of the experience.

are typical to someone with your major or in your position. Many industries usually experience a lot of changes whether in the technology they use, laws that govern their operations, the way they conduct operations, etc. so being flexible and willing to adapt to change is definitely valuable to most employers. Also, if there’s a position within the company that you’re interested in, don’t be afraid to talk with your team about it and apply for it. Yes, go for it!

Don’t be afraid to be the genius around: As an intern, your employer doesn’t expect you to know all the answers or to be the zen master of your field. However, learning about your field and your employer as much as possible will set you apart. Research online, learn about your employer, learn from  your colleagues and gain as much experience as possible through your internship so you can be proficient at what you do and become the “go-to” person in your area.

Be Proactive: If you finish the project you are working on and don’t know what else to do, rather than waiting for your supervisor to assign you new tasks, be proactive and ask for other projects to work on or discuss other ways that you might be useful with your supervisor. If there’s anything of value that your employer has overlooked, be sure to identify those; You’ll be making a big impact. By being proactive, your employer will know that you can take initiative and that you’re not afraid to roll up your sleeves.

Pave the way for others: Seek to make your internship position better than you met it.  For example, if your internship didn’t have a job description so you or your supervisor just “winged it as you go”, make sure you write one, or at least a good summary of your tasks, responsibilities and your accomplishments. Identify objectives that were met and that ones that weren’t, take note of what you have learned and what you feel could be improved on. If you had a hard time completing a project because there weren’t any clear directions, write one so future interns can have an easier time completing the project, etc. then discuss these with your supervisor before leaving your position. Not only will this allow unfinished projects to be more easily continued, and make it easier for future interns to pick up the work – this will also be a tangible memory of your final and lasting impression at the internship, helping set you up for potential future opportunities at the company. Furthermore, your colleagues who move onto other opportunities will remember you and may consider reaching out to you regarding positions that may be appropriate in the future.

If you enjoyed your internship experience and want to work full-time for the company, LET THEM KNOW!

Ask and you shall receive: It goes without saying that if you don’t ask, you might not receive. Towards the end of your internship, be sure to clearly express your interest in a full time position with your employer; don’t assume they know. As mentioned earlier, if you’re interested in a different position within the company, be sure to talk about it with your leadership and apply for it.

Don’t hesitate to let us know your thoughts. If you have questions, by all means let us know!

Remember we are here to assist you move up to the next step in your career. If you need help with your resume, cover letter, interview tips/mock interviews or just general advice on getting that full time position, don’t hesitate to stop by the career and Advising Center in Ceres 306 or shoot us an email or a phone call.

By Emmanuel Jinor
Emmanuel Jinor Internship Program Specialist Emmanuel Jinor