Internships are a great way to gain practical, first-hand work experience before taking those first steps down your career path. These experiences are not just valuable over time, but also provide the opportunity to build skills and network with people working in one’s preferred industry. Plus, it’s probably the best time to learn the most about your industry, while also getting your foot in the door with a prospective employer.
In fact, many employers use internship programs as a testing ground for potential hires. So if you’re about to start an internship – or if you’re already an intern – here are a few tips that can help you turn that internship into a full-time job.
You must arrive on time – or early, if you can! – every day. Arrive for meetings before they begin, complete each assignment by their deadlines and always go the extra mile. This is a key success factor and also forms early impressions about your outlook and commitment towards work – give it your all. Be resourceful
One of the traits that most employers look for in an employee is the ability to solve problems quickly. When working on a task or helping someone with an assignment, make sure you look for all the possible resources and answers before taking a problem to your supervisor. Asking questions that show you didn’t do sufficient research is a strict no-no. So instead of saying, “I don’t know,” take a deep-dive into the subject, read thoroughly and take the time to reflect and attempt to come up with your own insights. Usually, this will help you find a solution, but if it doesn’t, then by all means ask for help.
Have a positive attitude
You’re not expected to know how to do everything as an intern, so don’t let your mistakes pull you down. Make the most of this short period and ask meaningful questions. Be aware of your surroundings and absorb as much as you can. Stay positive, and remember that your coworkers and managers may make a hiring decision about you based on how you react to an unpleasant situation.
Don't be a wallflower
We can’t stress about this enough – speak up and make recommendations. This is your opportunity to sell your credentials, ability and ideas, so don't think your opinion isn't valued just because you're an intern. If you have an idea, share it.
Always take initiative
In order to stand out from the rest of the intern pool, make sure you take initiative. When you’re done with your tasks, ask if any of your colleagues need any help or let your manager know that you’re available to take on more work. If you have a great idea for a new project, by all means share it.
Your ability to show that you are willing to move forward and do more than what you were initially allotted will prove how much of an asset you would be to the team. By exceeding expectations, you will show how committed you really are to your work.