So, you got yourself an internship. First of all, congrats and welcome to the world of work! It can be scary, yes. But internships are also super exciting, especially if you take advantage of them in the right way. So what happens when you love your internship, you just don't want it to end, and you're ready to join the workforce? You want to turn that internship into a full-time job.
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First of all, whatever you do, don't do this:
If you watch Girls, you know this didn't turn out so well for Hannah Horvath. When you begin strategizing about turning your internship into a real job, you do not want to complain to your potential employer that they aren't giving you enough. If you play things right, they'll come to you, and here's how:
Take initiative and take on responsibilities. The first way to go about this might be to identify what the team is lacking, and provide support in that area. Once you've learned the ropes and you're doing well, tell your supervisor that you'd love to take on more responsibility or take anything of his/her plate if possible. The idea here is that by the end of your internship, the team will actually feel your absence and may make the argument to their superiors that they need you to keep functioning.
Put in 110%
When you begin an internship, don't fall into the trap of assuming that because it's just an internship it shouldn't be taken seriously. Make it a goal to do an excellent job on every single task you are assigned. Go above and beyond to impress your boss. This means when you ask for those responsibilities, you go above and beyond. You might even arrive a bit early/stay late. When you are done with your assigned tasks, don't stay idle, take initiative and ask for more work. This will show you are more than capable of performing at the level of a full time employee.
An internship is an excellent opportunity to build and grow your professional network. The connections you make can be valuable over the life of your career as they can help you with references and even with job opportunities in the future. Be sure to expand your networking efforts further than just your direct co-workers or fellow interns. Network with senior leadership within and outside of your team. If there are team or company events, plan to attend them and make connections with as many people as you can.
As you work on your daily tasks and various projects, be sure to ask questions to make sure you fully understand what you have been assigned to do. The questions you ask should not only be about your work but also about the company in general. Learn about what it's like to work there and the different types of opportunities that exist. Find time to talk to talk to the appropriate people and ask them relevant questions, this will show that you are interested in a permanent position.
A great way to ensure that you are meeting expectations as an intern is to ask for frequent feedback from your boss. Scheduling a meeting every couple of weeks to talk through how you are performing with your tasks will help you ensure that you are on the right path. Plan to implement any feedback you receive as quickly as possible to show that you are open to challenge and making improvements.
Keep in touch
Once your internship concludes be sure to send thank you notes to the appropriate people and plan to check in periodically to ask them about their work, to let them know how you are doing and also to inquire about any opportunities that may exist or will be coming up soon.
Here's the hard truth: At the end of your internship, you can ask your company whether there is a possibility of you continuing full time, but they will probably come to that decision on their own. And you have the best chance of them making that decision by becoming an indispendable team member and showing your enthusiasm for the organization — make it understood to your peers that you'd like to be a member of the company (just make sure to do it subtly, and not walk into work everyday shouting "I CAN'T WAIT UNTIL I CAN WORK HERE FULL TIME.")