Intern position to full-time offer

In an internship yet?  Just starting your search?  Either way, you’re just in time to take the long view and look at your internship not just as a few months worth of work/experience/networking, but as a way to get both feet firmly planted in the door.  You’ve heard the stats about the transition from internship to full time employment (67% of interns are hired by the companies that they intern with).

So let’s talk about how that 67% of interns seals the deal.

Treat the internship like a 3-month interview.

Think about your last interview:  you were on your game, alert for how you could make a great impression, and constantly aware of how the impression you were making.  Okay…now see if you can do that for three months.

Intern where you want to work

When picking an internship, make sure to ask yourself whether this could be a place you want to work in the long term.  There are plenty of other considerations for choosing your internship, but make sure to at least consider this question as you’re evaluating the pros and cons.  If you intern with a company you think you might want to work for after you graduate, you’re setting yourself up for a good long term offer.

Be the sponge

While in your internship, absorb everything.  Pay attention to office culture, opportunities for mentorship and advancement, tidbits of information about the company that you might not get from research, and anything else that piques your interest.  When it comes time to apply for and evaluate the company for a full time job—this information will be invaluable.

Meet people

Make it a priority to talk with your colleagues (not just fellow interns!) on a regular basis.  By getting to know the folks at the company, you’ll not only get to know more about the company, but you’ll undoubtedly build yourself a fan club of people who know and like you enough to advocate for you to be hired full time when you graduate.

Make yourself indispensable

There are plenty of people with basic transferrable skills…and then there the people who are indispensible.  These people are useful in a variety of departments, projects, roles, and responsibilities.  In order to become an indispensible part of a company, you’ll need to get to know as much about the company as possible, work to connect ideas, projects, people, and bring in new ideas and strategies.  Start slowly on this one:  it’s easy to be the new kid and start suggesting big changes without understanding the office culture or history of what’s been tried before.  But make this a goal toward the end of your internship:  in the last month—find ways to make yourself indispensible so that once you’ve finished your internship, people notice you’re gone—but wish you weren’t.

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