You know that internships can be a great way to get some practical experience, make new contacts, and learn about what you want (and don’t want) in a job. But here’s a secret: Internships can turn into full-time jobs, too.
If you make a great impression, build strong relationships with your co-workers, and make yourself an integral part of the team, you’ll have a huge in, if and when a full-time position opens up.
So how do you become the kind of intern that gets hired? The secret is to focus on these three attributes.
1. Be Dependable
Assuming you’re still in school, your internship is only one of the many things you’re involved in—along with class, volunteering, school organizations, your social life, and everything else. But, while you’re in the office, you need to treat it like it’s your top priority.
If you blow a deadline because you’re studying or come in reeking of last night’s party, you’ll immediately give the impression that you’re not serious about the job. On the other hand, if you work hard to surpass expectations and show you’re reliable, you’ll earn the respect of your boss and co-workers, and you’ll prove that you have what it takes to be an employee.
How to do it:
2. Show Potential
During your internship, you’re likely going to have moments where you’re asking yourself, How is this menial task going to show off my talents and help me get ahead? You’ll also have moments where you think, Oh no—I’ve never done this before, how am I supposed to actually do this?
Here’s what you need to remember: Showing potential doesn’t mean lobbying to get only high-profile assignments and it also doesn’t mean being perfect. Do everything you’re asked to do well (trivial or not), ask questions when you need help, and through it all, show that you’re excited to keep learning and doing more. Over the course of your internship, you want your employer to see that you’re able to keep growing, learning, and taking on new things.
How to do it:
3. Become Indispensible
Ultimately, the key to landing a full-time job is getting your co-workers to feel like they wouldn’t know what to do without you. This is important not only during your internship, but also for the rest of your career. If your employer can’t imagine life without you, you’ll be much more likely to succeed at your company—and much less likely to be zinged during a round of lay-offs. So, beyond being reliable and showing potential for more, show your employers that there’s no one else who could quite fill your role.
How to do it:
By working hard, becoming a dependable team player, and showing your potential to take on more, you’ll put yourself on the path to going from summer intern to full-time employee—and that’s a great place to be.
Have advice to share or a good intern story? We’d love to hear it below.
For more in this series, check out: Internship Week
Photo courtesy of Steven Depolo.