Finding a job itself is becoming increasingly difficult these days and while having a college degree helps immensely, that piece of paper might not be enough to get hired. Gaining some extra experience through an internship is proving to be very important, as employers like to see how well a potential employee will fit in the company before making a formal decision. Getting the internship is the first step. The next step is taking that internship and turning it into a full-time job. Here’s how:
1) Access the Company/Position: Although converting an intern into a full-time employee is an employer’s decision, it is also that of an intern to decide whether or not this is the industry and company that they are interested in. Doing some research on the company does not hurt either, that way you are heavily prepared when you get there to make and leave a lasting impression. The most successful interns are those who see beyond just a short-term opportunity.
2) Don’t Just Do The Bare Minimum: This is where your hard work comes in to shine. Employers like to see those interns who do what is asked of them and THEN some. When everyone is leaving at 5pm, skip out on the happy hours and get some additional projects done. Your extra effort will definitely be something worth taking notice. Also, take your talent to other departments and volunteer to do work that’s needed. Not only are you gaining a broader range of experience, but you are also proving you can handle the responsibilities that come with a full time job.
3) Showcase Your Progress: Establish goals with your employer when you first begin your internship so you have an idea of what work needs to be accomplished and how to incorporate your skills. Being assertive and exhibiting initiative is a surefire way to let your employer know you are a great asset to the company and accountable for the long run. Regularly update your employer of your progress so that your success is recognized. Ask questions if there is a task you are having a hard time tackling so you can improve. Employers will no doubt take notice of your willingness to prosper.-
4) Network, Network, Network: One of the most important tools an intern can have is the ability to network with upper-level management, other departments, and even fellow interns. It doesn’t have to stop at just an introduction either. Ask advice, gain insight, and develop relationships with co-workers to show you are a cultural fit with the company. It’s highly effective and a great way to build contacts and references as well.
So there you have it! Demonstrating hard work and an ambitious attitude are key in being able to turn your unpaid internship into a full-time rewarding career. No one ever leaves an internship empty-handed—whether that is with useful knowledge for the future or a full-time job offer! The choice is yours.
-Natalie Castellana, Financial Operations Associate at Kavaliro