For a few lucky people, a college internship becomes the beginning of a fulfilling career. While this might seem like something that just happens, it’s actually doesn’t. You have to take control of how you want things to play out if you want a job offer at the end of your internship. Here are a few things that are well within your control and abilities and that will edge you a step closer to an employment offer.
1. Act Like a Professional
To be considered good enough for a job, you have to showcase yourself as someone worthy and capable of holding an actual job. This means:
- Dressing professionally for work. If it’s a formal work environment, your college jeans do nothing for your image. Therefore, adopt the dress code of employees.
- Showing up to work on time. Again to be taken seriously, you have to avoid being tardy. If you want a job offer, treat this as a job.
- Participating in work-related activities. If you are in a meeting, remain engaged and contribute ideas as well. If there is an annual Christmas party, offer to help with the décor or the music playlist. Show your engagement in any way you can.
2. Go Above and Beyond
About 70,000 internships are made available each year in the UK. To get an offer, you want to stick out and get noticed, more so if there is a pool of interns with the same academic qualifications as yourself.
For you, this means doing every task, no matter how small with precision. Similarly, ask questions and show your curiosity and willingness to learn.
Seeking feedback is also a great way to communicate your willingness to learn and to do better. Also, request for additional tasks from time to time to challenge yourself and to learn and showcase a different set of skills. It also doesn’t hurt to pick up some roles in a different department other than yours. A vacancy could crop up in any department, having your hands in a few baskets widens your chances of being a suitable candidate.
3. Be Sincere about Your Career Goals
Take the initiative of discussing with your supervisor or managers about your interest in joining them. If you feel positive about the company, its culture and what you do, state your eagerness in being an employee.
Talking to HR is also key in registering your interest. Because staffing needs fall on the HR’s desk, it helps for them to know that you exist and that you performed well during your internship.
In addition, ensure to discuss your specific interests and how they relate to your role. If say you have been taking human resources courses and this is your passion, mention this clearly so that you are considered for specific roles in that department. Similarly, if your internship has revealed your aptitude for a different path to what you studied for, express this as well. At the end of the day, you want a job that will be a great fit and that will hopefully lead to a long, fulfilling career.
4. Develop a Relationship with Your Immediate Supervisor
In essence, this is part of networking. Your supervisor is likely to be the one showing you the ropes as well as evaluating you. This makes them the first person you need to prove yourself to. Keep them updated on your progress, challenges, and accomplishments. Accordingly, demonstrate your initiative, work ethic and leadership as well as your ability to work within a team and independently. When a position falls vacant in their department, your name will be on their recommendation list of possible hires.
It’s important to be aware that while an internship offers you some work experience, there are employers who use interning programs as proving ground to assess competencies and interns’ sync with their organisational cultures. This is aimed at picking individuals that will be best fits for available roles. So use your internship to put your best foot forward. Beyond this, send a thank you note at the end of it and keep in touch.