How to Turn Your Internship Into a Job
Our newly-minted Entrepreneur in Residence (aka the Intern Queen) shares her insights.
Internship season is wrapping up, and students have one thing on their brains: turning their internships into jobs. Even the students who are going back to school to finish off their senior year are curious about job offers for the following year. Here are some tips on how to stand out at your internship and turn the opportunity into a job.
1. Be consistent
You don’t have to be the best intern on the planet to turn your internship into a job, but you do need to be reliable. A benefit of hiring a former intern is that the student has already been trained, they’ve already worked at the company and they should be able to catch on faster than someone who hasn’t interned at the company. If you were a great intern on certain days but really slacked off or didn’t pay attention on other days, the company is not likely to hire you. They want someone they can count on. Show them that you can make a great first impression and maintain that great impression throughout the course of your internship. Show them that on the last day of your internship you are just as impressive as you were on the first day.
2. Leave your baggage at the door
If you’re stressed (everyone is stressed these days) or overwhelmed or too busy, leave that outside of your internship. A company wants to hire young people who can maintain a sense of professionalism at work. If you’re crying all day, complaining about how much you have going on outside of work and causing the team to treat you differently because of your stress levels and attitude, that’s not a good sign. Your job is to be a professional and leave whatever is going on outside of the office where it belongs—outside of the office.
3. Make connections and network from within
Set up informational interviews with people you admire at the company and set aside time to sit down with different executives to understand their career path and how they got to where they are today. These meetings are a great opportunity for you to tell them what you’re interested in and to ask for advice. Remember, you’re a student—people are willing to help you!
4. Show how passionate you are
Employers don’t want to hire people who seem less than excited or passionate about the position. Perk up and show your employer your excitement. Make sure that you’ve clearly stated your serious interest in the company and ask for advice on the next steps to interviewing and potentially getting a paid role within the business.
5. Be memorable
I call this advice “being one of the five.” Over the course of my career, I’ve had several interns—some of them I remember and some of them I don’t. The only reason that I remember certain interns more than others is because they’ve done a great job of staying in touch with me, sometimes for years after the internship is over. They make sure that I know what’s going on in their lives, even if it has nothing to do with me or my business. The interns that we’ve hired full-time have gone above and beyond to stay in touch; they send cards at the holidays, they communicate with me on social media and they fill me in on major life updates (a new job, a change of address, a big job interview). They make it impossible for me to NOT remember them. I encourage you to be “one of the five” interns that your supervisor remembers years from now. You never know when the connection will come in handy.
6. Provide value
Go out of your way to contribute to the company after you leave the internship. See a news article that’s relevant to your former internship? Send a link to your internship coordinator. Have insight about a competitor brand that your former internship might be interested in hearing about? Make sure to shoot them a note about it. Do whatever you can to show your internship coordinator that you are loyal to them, always thinking about them and constantly trying to find new ways to add value to the organization. Good luck and go turn that internship into a job!