Tips for Turning Your Internship Into a Career
Dress and Act Like a Professional – Create the impression that you belong in an organization by dressing as well as anyone who works there; this alone may help you stand out. Carefully watch how the permanent employees who are well respected and successful speak and act and try to emulate their style.
Interact with Colleagues and Superiors – Be as friendly as possible with fellow workers and supervisors. If you seek a career position, your supervisor’s recommendation may be a big help. Don’t fawn over the boss, but don’t go into your shell when opportunities arise to communicate with him or her. Don’t hesitate to raise questions or ask for help.
Stand Out and Show Initiative – It helps to be known by as many people as possible, so seek assignments that offer exposure, particularly to higher-ups. Volunteer for special projects if you get the chance.
Try to Obtain Helpful Work Assignments – If you have some choice as to your work, the best job assignment may be in one of the major areas of the employer. Top leadership in organizations often comes from those with backgrounds in the most significant units.
Try to Enrich Your Résumé – Whether or not you eventually go to work for your internship employer, it’s always helpful to have work assignments which will look good on your résumé.
Seek Evaluations – If you are not covered by a formal evaluation system, seek feedback on your performance from supervisors. The fact that you want to be evaluated attests to your seriousness about a career. If your rating shows some weaknesses, improve on those areas as quickly as possible.
Keep in Touch – After you have left the job, maintain contacts with your fellow workers or supervisors. At a minimum, they may be able to provide you with references. At the maximum, they may help you with names of potential employers or even encourage their organization to offer you a job.
Source: Career Opportunity News, Ferguson, An imprint of Facts on File, Inc., March/April 2004