Whether you are an Industrial Training (IT) Student on compulsory 3, 6 or 12 months training or graduate intern; internships have proven to be the new ways of landing dream jobs. This has even received national recognition by Federal or State Governments as it is now a major part of their empowerment programme.
It is no longer news that new-age employers often prefer to open up internship vacancies rather than full-time positions. Many employers who offer internships do so as a way to try out and recruit new full time employees. Even though internships are a way for students to gain experience and learn more about a specific career field of interest; they are also a way for organizations to try out individuals and decide how well they fit within the overall culture of the organization.
Many employers use their internship programs as a proving ground for the hiring process and are able to save money in their recruitment efforts by trying out potential new employees before extending to an actual job offer.
Having said this, there is a 58% tendency that an internship becomes a full-time job after a stipulated number of months. Hence, it is advisable to get an internship, even if it’s unpaid. It’s often a great experience.
But the advice many graduates or IT Students fail to receive is how to successfully (rather than forcefully) convert an internship into a full-time job. These steps are highlighted subsequently.
1. Choose the Right Internship
Pick out an internship that provides with the opportunity to actually do work. Often, small and medium sized companies which are usually understaffed, provide the best opportunities. A year or two of internship may be your first true glimpse into what your future career will look like. However, not all internships allow you to become part of a team and get some real work experience under your belt for an upward career move so choose carefully.
2. Make a Good Impression
As an intern, your boss and co-workers may treat you like the smallest child of the family. Infact, we know the manual for being an intern involves just being on time, dressing professional and taking on assignments without complaining. However, if you want to turn your internship into a full-time job then it is your responsibility to show your supervisor and others within the organization that you have what it takes, both personally and professionally, to fit in with the corporate culture.
That means not just doing what is asked, but doing the things you haven’t been asked to do—but you know are needed. Sacrifice your time, go above and beyond on every task and project you’re given, even if it seems mundane. People will recognize you for the work you’ve contributed and continue to talk positively about you once your internship is complete.
3. Be a sponge; absorb mistakes and learn
Your boss and co-workers realize you’re an intern, and you’re not expected to know how to do everything that’s assigned to you. Take advantage of this short period in your life when it’s okay to ask questions about the basics. And that’s kind of the point: The best interns tend to ask a lot of questions. Whether it’s about the company, industry or specific skills– they’re all necessary questions to better help them pursue the right career path. The best interns are bright, naturally curious, and quickly able to build on the skills we teach them, ultimately delivering real value for our company. In short, they’re exactly the type of entry-level people companies look to hire fulltime.
Absorb all of your surroundings. If you make a mistake, don’t let it get you down. Stay positive, and remember that employers may judge you by how you react to the mistake… rather than the mistake itself.
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4. Win their hearts
Even if they try to downplay your abilities, know that your co-workers appreciate your presence more than you know. So instead of remaining in the background, be confident in your abilities. If you like the company culture, show it by immersing yourself in the company outings and socials. But, while you should definitely head to any events and mixers that you can, remember that some of the most important relationship building you can do in an internship will be at your own desk.
Make the effort to get to know the people in your office, particularly the team you work with, both as professionals and as people. As well as understanding their role and their strengths, try and become friendly on a personal level.
As Dale Carnegie – author of How to Win Friends and Influence People – wisely said, ‘You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.’ So reach out to your co-workers, and take an interest in their interests.
The more friends you make, the more people will be sorry to see you go – and the more voices might be raised in support of you staying on.
5. Use social media to your advantage
Throughout your internship, connect with co-workers, managers, and others you’ve met on social media. It could be Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. Also be quick to change your Facebook or LinkedIn profile to reflect your current work placement. This will go a long way to show how you enjoy working there even as a temporary staff. And don’t be shy about commenting on work-related posts people share. It shows you’re interested in company news and serious about your career. You will also pop up on their news feed—and into their subconscious.
6. Remain positive
No one wants to hire a person who is always negative or complaining, so make sure you always stay positive and bring good energy to the workplace. When you make people feel good with your presence it makes them want to be around you more. It is often said that people do business with those they like and, while this isn’t a popularity contest, remaining positive will help you fit into the workplace.
7. Hint your interest in remaining with the company
Hint from time to time to your immediate boss or top boss that you would like to remain in the company. Towards the end of the internship, ask about career opportunities. It’s important to let your managers know you’re interested in more than just an internship. Otherwise, they’ll just look for the next intern to fill the shoe you left in the door. If you are looking to have your internship morph into a job, make sure you are expressing your interest to the powers that be. If the company doesn’t know you enjoy working there, you may get passed up by someone who is more vocal.
In conclusion, interns need to focus on three things: pursuing every opportunity, earning trust by seizing the small stuff, and thinking up ways to remain innovative. It’s also important for them to build relationships with their colleagues. Take a real interest in learning about the people who already work at the company– which of course means asking more questions (and listening to the answers). No question is too small or dumb to ask, but don’t expect to be spoon-fed all the answers.
Suffice it to say that at the end of the day your potential employer is looking to be profitable, so those who help the vision tend to have a better chance of landing a permanent gig. The more valuable you are to your potential employer, the harder it will be for the company to envision itself without you.
This is my 2 Kobo, hope it helps.