By Marie Johnson, Contributing Author at Enlightened Digital
For many of this year’s college seniors, your eyes are on one prize: land a full-time position by the time you graduate. If you’ve secured an internship for the fall semester, congratulations! You’re already one step closer to achieving your post-graduation goal.
However, securing that fall internship is just half of the battle; it’s what you do with that internship that could mean either a full-time role or heading back to the job hunt. Here are a few tips to parlay your current internship into a full-time job:
- Establish Your Reputation
Most internship programs are typically just six or eight weeks long, so you only have a short amount of time to make a good impression as a valuable team member. Actively seek to understand what success looks like for your team and how you can play a part in that, whether it’s organizing agendas, participating in brainstorm meetings or learning to write code. Set goals for yourself with these tasks in mind, and be sure to execute on them.
Once you’ve established a track record of delivering excellent work, ask if you can accompany your boss to an executive meeting. Be sure to introduce yourself to all of the attendees one-by-one, and don’t forget to initiate a conversation with them after the meeting too. Check out tip number three for why this is so important.
- Step Outside Your Department
Don’t limit your interactions to only your supervisor and your peers. Communicating with others outside your immediate day-to-day work increases your likeliness to land a job. Not to mention, learning about other departments in the company is a great way to diversify your skills and qualifications.
Your particular boss may not have the power to offer you a job when the internship ends, but a manager in another part of the company may have an opening of their own. It’s not uncommon for a marketing intern to land a job in sales, or an IT intern to find a career in project management. Think outside the box when it comes to job opportunities!
- Find Your Advocates
Even if your internship has a formal mentor program, it’s important to develop positive relationships with other advisors in the company. Seek out tenured employees or those experienced in their field who can provide insight into what makes the company tick. These are the people who can vouch for you when it’s time to determine which intern will receive the sought-after full-time position. If you’re looking to go the extra mile, ask them to write you a letter of recommendation!
- Make Your Intentions Known
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, be sure your supervisor is well aware of your intentions to stick with the company after graduation. If you believe the organization is a place you’d like to be with on a long-term basis, set aside some time with your boss to let them know your interest. All interns have their own reason as to why they are participating in the internship program, whether it’s to gain experience, acquire certain skills, or test what it’s like to work in a particular industry. Should yours be to gain a full-time position, make the intent clear. After all, your boss isn’t a mind reader!
Gaining a full-time job opportunity from an internship is certainly no simple feat, but using the tips above can help you achieve your post-grad goals!
Marie Johnson is a contributor to Enlightened Digital, UX Designer and technology writer from New York City. If she's not writing her latest blog post in her kitchen, you'll likely find her strolling through Central Park, cappuccino in hand.