10 Tips To Help You Turn Your Internship Into a Full-Time Job

So you landed the internship of your dreams. You’ve set yourself up for a successful career and now have plenty of prospects for future jobs. But what if you want to work at the company you intern at?

Internships are typically a rite of passage for students to gain experience in their industry before graduating. But an internship at an organization you identify with can also be a great start to a long-term career there.

Not ready to say goodbye? Here are ten tips to help you turn your internship into a full-time job.

Make a good impression

The best way to help turn your internship into a full-time position is to make a good impression. As an intern, it’s your responsibility to show your colleagues and supervisor that you have what it takes to succeed and that you’re willing to take on the challenge. A good first impression sets the tone for the rest of your time with a company.

Always follow company rules and established guidelines

An organization wouldn’t be keen on keeping you on after your internship is over if you failed to follow the established guidelines. This includes learning unspoken rules and expectations that are involved in the workplace. Don’t break the rules if you want to work there long-term.

Find a mentor

Adulting is hard. Transitioning to the workforce after four (or more) years of collegiate life can be challenging. There are many things to navigate aside from your career when you start your adult life. Moving to a new place, developing relationships, and buying a house or car are all on your plate.

The latter two are significant financial burdens all students will face as they begin their careers. Even owning a car outright doesn’t mean you won’t incur significant annual expenses in the form of fuel, maintenance, and the high cost of insurance. The average person in Canada pays over $1,000 annually just for car insurance, while in the United States it’s over $1,500 annually.

But there are people who have been where you are before, and you can learn a lot from them. For example, a colleague who started only a few years earlier may have struggled with establishing a good credit score because they didn’t know how to manage their money. They can now advise you on how to create a budget and stick to it, so you have enough money left for your credit card payments and for enjoying life.

Similarly, a mentor can help you establish your career and make decisions that will take you to the next level in your professional life.

Develop a strong work ethic

Show initiative, tackle tasks enthusiastically, and always show up on time, ready to work. A strong work ethic can make up for shortcomings in other areas. For example, a manager can teach you essential processes and how to use certain tools, but they can’t teach you how to enjoy hard work.

Establish your professional goals

According to a recent survey, respondents who created and followed a business plan saw 30% faster business growth than respondents that didn’t. The same goes with building your career. Having a clear plan that outlines your goals is essential to building a strong career. Express your professional goals to your supervisor and mentor so they can help point you in the right direction when the time comes.

Complete assigned projects on time

There is no position more expendable than an intern. And if you want to turn your internship into a full-time career, you’ll have to exceed expectations. Be sure to complete assigned projects early or at least on time. Plan for bottlenecks and unforeseen scheduling issues so you can meet your deadlines. And if you are going to turn in work late, communicate with your supervisor so that projects and schedules can be adjusted accordingly.

Learn all you can

As an intern, your job is to learn the ropes and manage risks. Take advantage of the opportunity to rub shoulders with industry professionals and learn everything you can while you’re there. Observe the processes and systems that are in place, as well as listen in on meetings to learn what goes on behind the curtain. Ask for additional work when you can to gain as much experience as possible.

As an example to illustrate the importance of learning directly from successful industry professionals, look no further than the stock market. According to recent surveys, over 90% of stock traders lose money because they don’t know how to manage risk and get carried away with emotion when prices are rising. The same logic applies to other industries as well. Take your time in learning from mentors and others who are successful in the business.

Ask for input from your supervisors and colleagues

Feedback is an excellent learning tool. Ask for input from your supervisors and colleagues so you can learn from your mistakes and find out how you can perform better in the future. Not only will this help you grow from your experiences, but it also shows your supervisors that you are capable of applying constructive criticism effectively.

Tell your supervisor that you are interested in a full-time position

If you don’t express interest in continuing with an organization, they may never know! Tell your supervisor that you are interested in a full-time position, and ask to be contacted when a position in your wheelhouse becomes available.

Keep in touch

Your relationship with a company doesn’t have to end once your internship is over. If you haven’t landed a full-time position by the time you’ve finished your internship, stay in touch. Reach out to your supervisor and colleagues periodically, show appreciation for them, and just check in on them. There is always the potential for future job openings, so take advantage of the network connections you made during your internship and stay in touch.

Final thoughts

An internship is a stepping stone to your future in a certain industry or role. Most people who take internships will find employment elsewhere. But if you really want to land a full-time position where you are doing your internship, you will need to put in more work than your peers. Set yourself apart by following these tips, and you’ll be on your way to a great career at a company you love.
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