Internships are a great way to gain experience in a new career field. Once thought of as just for college students or recent alumni, job seekers of a variety of ages are now taking advantage of internship opportunities.
In addition to gaining hands on experience, internships can lead to a full time position if performance merits. To increase the chances of getting a job offer, an intern can do a number of things:
- Make sure you want a job with the company you are interning with: As an intern, you have a golden opportunity to “try” the company out. Make sure it’s one you can see yourself at if offered a position. Either way, treat the job as a real job while an intern
- Show you fit with company culture: This is very important. An ideal job candidate will show that he or she follows the company’s philosophies and conducts business accordingly. This person will thrive in the environment, and gets along well with fellow staff members.
- Get to know the company and organization: Schedule informational meetings with people in different departments. Find out where future opportunities lie.
- Work hard: Show your dedication to getting things right. Give every task 110%.
- Add value: There is no better way to position yourself for a job offer than to impact the bottom line.
- Set personal goals and keep busy: Meet with your manager after starting and set goals for your internship. Meet and exceed those goals.
- Become an expert in that industry: Learn everything you can about the company and industry. Share what you learn, when appropriate. Ask questions. Remember that you are there to learn!
- Show your gratitude: An internship is valuable opportunity. Remember to thank the people who help you along the way.
- Talk directly with your manager about your desire to work for the company: Find out what it would take to be hired on permanently.
An intern who directly adds value to the company has a much better chance of getting hired. Companies don’t want to lose someone who brings a unique value; show what you bring either financially or in other ways. If you are able to demonstrate you are much more than just a body filling a spot, you could create a great opportunity for employment at the end of the internship or even down the road.