Finding a job right out of college is hard enough when you lack practical work experience, so why not make it easier on yourself by pursuing an internship in a field of your choice? Often, college interns find that they enjoyed their internship so much while they were in school that they want to step right into a full-time job after graduation. Unfortunately, it’s up to the powers that be when choosing who to hire and who to let go. But there are a number of factors that you can control in order to influence your boss’s decision one way or the other.
Like with any new job, you need to be prepared for your job role, even before you start. Unlike real-world jobs, internships are designed to be learning experiences with shallower learning curves and a slower pace. However, the more prepared you are ahead of time, the more time you will have to excel at the position and show your boss that you are serious about the opportunity.
In addition to demonstrating your job skills, you also need to show that your work ethic is on par with your technical abilities. Not only will this reflect well in future references from your boss, but can show him or her that you would be a great addition to their company’s workforce. A good work ethic means being a consummate professional who demonstrates levels of responsibility and effort that brings you to the attention of your professional superiors who will be unable to ignore that value discovered in their lowly intern.
On top of proving what a valuable asset you would be to the company, you must also use your communication skills to their fullest in developing a good relationship with your supervisor. Make sure that he or she always knows where you are and what you are doing and regularly solicit feedback on your work so that you can know how you are performing and ways for you to improve. The more involved your boss is in your development, the better gauge he or she will have when it comes time to evaluate your future with the company.
Second to your relationship with your boss are your relationships with your coworkers. The best way to stay involved with the day-to-day activities is to become a vested team player. This means contributing ideas, volunteering your time and assistance on projects, speaking up in meetings, and asking questions in order to learn new skills and job shortcuts. The better known you are around the office, the more likely you will be seen as a good addition to the team.
The final ingredient to bring all the rest together is your commitment to hard work. From your first day to your last, work as hard as you can while remaining accurate and productive. Thank the company for having you as an intern and share the positive experiences and lessons you learned throughout your time there. Leaving a good last impression can open the door to a future long-term position at the company you love.