For students and fresh graduates, an internship is the ticket to gain valuable work experience in their chosen field, develop new skills, and expand their professional network. It also widens their horizons and opens the door to various career opportunities.
More than any qualification in your resume, it is your work experience that employers value the most. Read on and learn how you can leverage your internship to land a full-time job.
1) Establish Your Personal Goals
To make the most out of the experience, write down the short-term and long-term goals you wish to achieve during the course of your internship. For instance, your career goal could be to land a permanent job at your internship company. The first step towards realising this goal is to inform your immediate supervisor about this intention and request periodic feedback on your work performance. Seek advice from the hiring manager on how to prepare for the job application process.
2) Learn More About the Company and Where You Fit In
Have a holistic view of the company you are doing your internship at. Understand the company’s pain points, solutions, and policies; spend time to interact with colleagues across different departments; and learn the office culture. With this knowledge, you can decide whether you truly fit in and how you can add value to the company.
3) Align With Your Immediate Supervisor
Always check in with your immediate supervisor and seek feedback. If regular meetings are not possible, send your supervisor a summary of your completed and ongoing tasks at the beginning or end of each week. If you realise that you cannot complete a task assigned to you by the deadline, inform your supervisor immediately to give them enough time to work through any possible issues. Normally, a supervisor will evaluate an intern based on the quality of their work and the passion they demonstrate in their performance of assigned tasks.
4) Network With Colleagues
Join your colleagues during coffee breaks, lunches or Friday night gigs. Get familiar with their roles in the company and how they interrelate. Use these occasions to express your passion for your internship, and seek advice from your colleagues on how you could land a full-time job at the company.
5) Take the Initiative
Go the extra mile — accept more responsibilities, offer to assist others with their duties, seek learning opportunities or make suggestions. For instance, after completing a project, seek feedback from the client on how satisfied they were about the services rendered. Take note of the client’s recommendations and communicate them to your team. You could also request for job shadowing to learn the responsibilities of the job position that you find appealing.
6) Find Someone Who Can Vouch for Your Skills, Work Ethic, and Attitude
Seek to work with other colleagues, such as being part of a special projects team or an inter-unit ad hoc committee. This will give you the opportunity to build relationships with colleagues who can testify to your commendable qualities — for instance, your integrity or your interpersonal soft skills, including time management and multitasking. Refer to their feedback to convince the hiring manager that you are qualified for the job vacancy.
7) Make a Lasting Impression on Your Supervisor and Colleagues
What is one thing your colleagues all say about you? How did your experience and skills significantly impact the workflow of your department? How did your resourcefulness make a difference in a moment of setback? These are some questions you can ask yourself if you want to leave an ‘indelible’ impression on your supervisor and colleagues.
An internship is often the start of one’s professional life and first step into the real world. During the internship, one applies their knowledge from school to actual workplace situations and gains new experiences, insights, and skills. By following these seven practical tips, you can boost your chance of landing a full-time job with your company after your internship.
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