As an undergraduate, I completed two summer internships. Through family members, professors, and mentors I compiled the following tips about how to turn my internship into a full-time job offer; whether for that particular company or to make myself a better candidate in general. It turns out my mentors’ tips were perfectly on point.
- Always ask questions
Asking questions can be difficult because you don’t want to keep bothering someone you know is really busy. However, most employers would prefer you ask clarifying questions rather than waste time spinning your wheels and trying to figure out the answer on your own. Note: as you work, make a list of questions so you can ask a handful (or more) at once. Also, asking questions shows an inquisitive nature and tells the employer that you are ready, willing, and interested in learning. As an intern you should be asking many questions and soaking up all the new knowledge.
- Networking: Embrace the possibilities
Often when we hear “networking” we think of walking into a room of people we don’t know and trying to make small-talk. This perception does not have to be actuality. Networking could be one-on-one meetings with people in different areas of the organization or just accepting an offer to join someone for coffee or lunch. Those fifteen minute to one hour discussions show that you are interested in engaging with your co-workers which can make a huge difference in whether or not the company entertains the idea of hiring you full-time once the internship is over.
- Seek additional opportunities
You should ask if this is an option for you during your internship, but during one of my internships there was not much work in my assigned area at the time. I went to a few company social events, introduced myself to others, and asked if they needed any assistance. Other groups were happy to have additional help. As a result, I gained experience working for multiple teams during my internship. Other opportunities to consider include joining a company sports team, attending lunch and learn meetings, joining work groups, and more.
- Treat the entire internship as an interview
The best mindset to have is to remember that the whole internship is really one long interview. Overall tips for this mindset include: dress for success every day, be on time, show improvement and learning in the work you complete, be polite and respectful to everyone you meet, and strive to be a positive hard working intern.
Make sure you keep these tips in mind whether you are currently participating in an internship, have secured one for next semester, or are planning on one for the summer. If you feel you need more assistance on this topic, visit us at Wilbur Cross, Room 202 between 12pm and 4pm to meet with a Career Consultant.
Finally, to be entered into a raffle to win a $200 Amazon gift card and other prizes, please fill out our Internship Survey by November 15, 2014 (whether or not you have completed a summer internship): Student Summer 2014 Internship & Co-Op Survey.
Photo Credit: http://www.degreesoftransition.com/2014/07/02/turn-your-internship-into-a-job-offer/