The dream of turning an internship into a job offer is no longer out of reach. According to a National Association of Colleges & Education (NACE) survey of 280 companies, employers are not only hiring more interns each year but are also using their internship programs to feed their full-time hiring efforts. NACE’s 2011 Student Survey found that nearly 90 percent of students who took part in internships said they would accept an offer of a full-time job from their internship employer.
So what does this all mean for us? It means we can land a job offer before we enter our last year of college. It means we will have a competitive advantage. It means our internships are in most cases, an eight to ten-week long interview. How can we ace the interview? Here are a few tips to maximize your chances of turning your internship into a full-time job offer:
1. Be a team player.
Continue to do whatever anyone in the company asks—and more. Going above and beyond what is asked not only shows work ethic, but also shows your employer that you take initiative on the company’s best interests.
2. Dress the part.
Dress as if you are a full-time employee. This might seem like common sense, but by showcasing yourself as a professional, fellow employees will take you more seriously and will see you as someone they could work side-by-side with in the future.
3. Be assertive & network.
Schedule informational meetings with executives. Network with your fellow interns (because you never know where anyone is going to end up). Network with the company’s human resources department—they usually have a say in hiring decisions in conjunction with the college recruiting process. Lastly, never be afraid to ask questions. Questions demonstrate genuine interest and allow for creative ideas to surface.
As your internships come to a close in the upcoming weeks, always remember to stay in touch with your supervisor four times per year. Building both a professional and personal relationship with them also ensures they are aware of your future aspirations. They not only can assist you find a position at their specific company, but more often than not they can direct you to their networks at other companies as well. If you follow all of these simple steps, you should have no problem turning your internship into a job offer in the future. Good luck!
This blog was written by Victoria Maggio, campus ambassador at Penn State University. She is a rising senior dual majoring in Public Relations and Integrative Arts. Follow her on Twitter @VictoriaMaggio.