One question we often hear is: how do you ensure that you convert your internship into a full-time career.
Many companies wanting to hire a graduate begin by offering candidates a short 3- or 6-month internship before deciding whether or not to recruit them full time.
So, how do you make sure you get your ideal career:
Often, the best course of action is the obvious one. First and foremost, the way to ensure your new boss takes you on and keep you is to be the best applicant.
It sounds obvious, but you have to be punctual. For the initial trial period, always try to start work at least ten minutes early, and stay a bit later than you need to each day. Be keen to learn and work hard. If you’re asked to do tasks that seem menial, do them with as much enthusiasm as you can find. Sometimes it is a test of your attitude.
Establish goals and meet them!
Get specific goals for your internship – and achieve them. Have a quiet chat with your boss now and again. Is there anything else you can do? Ask for more responsibilities. This shows that you are efficient in doing what has already been asked of you, and that you are keen to work hard and take on more.
You also need to remember that your internship is an opportunity to learn as much as possible. Even if it doesn’t end up becoming a full-time job, it’s a great opportunity to learn about the job as well as how organisations work. Learn from your supervisor, how are you performing? This will draw their attention to you.
In addition, establish personal goals at the start of your internship. What do YOU want to learn from the experience? This can include mastering technical skills, refining personal soft skills or establishing a list of contacts. Most importantly, impress your new employers with your work-rate.
Add Value to the company
The company will expect you to learn, but graduate jobs are also about adding value to the business. This doesn’t just mean showing enthusiasm and focus. Sometimes you should take the initiative too. Without being too pushy, when appropriate, pitch ideas to your supervisor. Ask if there’s anything more you can take on as soon as you’ve completed your task. Be prepared with an answer when you’re asked your opinion on business decisions. The last point is crucial, as it’ll illustrate that you’ve really thought about, and understand, the business. This shows your dedication to the organisation.
By taking the initiative and taking on additional duties, you can gradually become indispensable to your potential employer. Recruiters are looking for three things in candidates.
1. That you want the job.
2. That you can do the job.
3. That you’ll fit in with their organisation.
If you’ve already shown that you tick these boxes, why would they incur time and costs recruiting someone else? It doesn’t make sense financially to take someone else on when they’ve already invested in training you.
Make use of any specialist skills you have. If you’re fluent in a second language, think about areas of foreign client management or foreign marketing where you could help. If you have some knowledge of social media, computer design skills, or experience running a blog, make sure your supervisor knows. When your internship is up, they may realise that you’ve become a very useful addition to the company.
Essentially, it’s simple: what can I do to make sure I’ll be missed?
Be a Social Butterfly
While you’re there, join in with the social side of the organisation. Attend company networking events. Use lunchtimes to chat to other employees and get them on your side.
As you approach the end of your internship, if some influential voices within the company are saying how much of an impact you’ve made, it will help your cause. Go the extra mile outside of work as well as inside it.
Tell Them How You Feel
When it’s coming towards the end of your internship, let people know how much you’ve enjoyed your time there. It shows you care about wanting to stay. Make sure they know you really want the job! It’s no 1 on the list of things they are looking for. It’s evidence of loyalty.
Stay in Touch
Sometimes, factors beyond your control things mean things don’t work out. Maybe the budget isn’t there for a full-time position. Or they don’t think there is enough workload for you at this time. If this is the case, stay in touch with them. Use the contacts you’ve built up. Call every now and again to remind them you are still really interested. When a position comes up, you’ll be the first person they’ll call.