The internship struggle: it’s real. Whether you’ve landed your dream internship, or you’re just stepping into the great unknown world of intern-dom, there can be a lot of pressure to “leverage it” into something more.
Are they going to want to hire you after your three months are up? Is this the job that you want to have when you graduate? How can you even tell?
Going from part-time intern to full-time employee is a big step, but it’s never something that’s out of reach. No matter what position you’re in, it’s on you to show your boss why you’re just what they need.
But going beyond just a stellar performance at your internship, we wanted to know what the practical steps are in landing that post-internship job. So we talked to several industry experts to get their thoughts on the matter.
Check out these tips below and see how you can make the most of your internship, and hopefully turn it into something more. Good luck!
So here are our tips, straight from the, Nathan Parcells:
According to Nathan Parcells, the cofounder of InternMatch, “This is the most important thing in an intern can do. An internship is an extended interview and if you constantly over-deliver on projects, you will be viewed as an A player and indispensable.”
As an intern, you’re not just there to carry out the tasks at hand, you’re there to stand out as intuitive, extremely helpful, and a valued member of the team. Be sure to check out the InternMatch blog in the link above for more tips on exactly what exceeding expectations may look like for you.
Stay In Touch
“Follow-up with check ins on how things are going or when you hear about big new updates from the company,” and be sure to stay “top of mind” as Parcells puts it. While not every internship is going to have something open for you immediately, that doesn’t mean they don’t want to use you later on.
The reality is, people are constantly going to be applying for positions at that same company. If you’re not at the forefront of your bosses mind, then you may slip through the cracks. The only way you won’t is if you own that communication. Don’t let a good opportunity go to waste.
Ask For More
“Manage up if you need to” is what Parcells recommends. Ask for more projects, and find out what the ultimate goal is for different assignments. While it can be great to get a task done quickly, it’s even better to have a full picture of what you’re working towards with that one task. “Make sure this is all clear so you can knock your goals out of the park.”
In the heat of competition, you need someone higher up who is going to be willing to go to bat for you. Parcells recommends that you “Take initiative and develop relationships that turn into a network that can provide you great opportunities in the future, even if not for that company.”
Part of the benefit of a great internship is that you’ll meet a lot of people—and they all know that you’re looking for a job. If you can learn how to network well, then you’re naturally going to find someone who can use you to fill a need!
Always Do More
“Express interest in more areas of the company than just your role. Set up meetings with people in other departments to learn more about how they run. Get your work done—and then ask your boss for other projects you can help with that will really move the company forward.”
Check out The Muse’s daily articles in the link above for more advice on being a great intern!
Communicate Your Interest
Let them know you want the job early on! As Greenawald puts it: “As both an intern turned full timer and someone who now hires and manages interns, I think one of the biggest things you should do is show how much you’re interested in the position… You want to show that you’re not just a good worker, but someone who’s really invested in the company.”
How will a company know that you want the job if you’re just scraping by in your internship? You hold a coveted position that a lot of people were vying for: take advantage of the time that you have and show your boss how badly you want that job!
Actions Speak Louder Than Words
“I once had an intern approach me asking what one ‘annoying but necessary task’ on my plate was, and if she could take it on,” says Greenawald. “Her willingness to take on some not-so-exciting work to help me and for the good of the company is something I’ll never forget—I’d hire her in a second if she weren’t still in college!”
If you do your job exceptionally well, then a company is going to want you—whether you’re available or not. Focus on being the best intern that you can possibly be, and take advantage of every opportunity you can to prove that they can’t go on without you.
In the end, it may not be a job at that company, but you’ll undoubtedly find success in those relationships and skills that you built along the way.