The uncertainty about what’s to come after graduation day can be stressful, especially if you don’t have a full-time job secured by the time you’re turning your tassel. The best step any student can take to remain competitive in the job market as a recent grad is to find and excel in the right internships.
Though they’re often seen as a temporary stepping stone to gain relevant skills and work experience, many have the potential to develop into full-time employment as hiring managers use internships to see who’s a fit with the company culture and most qualified to succeed long-term. While entry-level positions are highly competitive, internships provide the opportunity to establish yourself within a company, build key relationships, and prove your value to the team.
If you want to turn your internship into a full-time position after college, here’s how you can increase your chances of getting hired after graduation.
Develop Professional Goals
Choose your internships wisely. Not all companies offer the same value and some opportunities will be a stronger fit for your career path than others. Get clear about what your goals are so that you can find the most beneficial internship for your professional development and career aspirations. Lacking clarity and long-term direction, or worse, choosing an internship based on availability, will look inconsistent on a resume and delay your progress.
Display Professionalism and a Strong Work Ethic
Don’t let the title of “intern” allow you to act as any less of a vital member of the team. Take the time to understand the company's mission and culture, show a willingness to learn new skills and take on new projects, and complete routine or repetitive tasks with enthusiasm to earn the trust of your employer. When time permits, ask your supervisor for opportunities to assist with other projects..
Build Rapport with Co-Workers
Cultivate strong relationships with your team and supervisor. Employers look for candidates that are able to work well with others and contribute to a positive team environment. Whether the internship results in a job offer or not, developing these connections can lead to professional references in the future.
Think Outside of the Box
Don’t settle for just completing the tasks assigned to you; go above and beyond your responsibilities to determine how you can improve the organization. Identify and offer insight on solutions to problems that management may not yet be aware of or had time to address.
Find a Mentor
Take every opportunity to gain insight from others both in and out of your department. Ask them about their experience, background, and what skills they find most relevant to their position, then work on developing those skills yourself. If you find an area of interest where you have room for growth, speak with your supervisor about the possibility of assisting on those projects or shadowing your mentor in their day-to-day role.
Express Interest in Employment
When the internship comes to an end, schedule a meeting with your supervisor and express your interest in a full-time position with the company. Share what you have accomplished throughout your time with them, any new skills you have developed and what direction you’re looking to move forward with in your career. Even if there are no immediate openings, you’ll be more likely to be considered for an opportunity in the future.
Are you looking to land and ace your next internship? From career matching to the interview process to the job offer, our flexible plans will walk you through the steps to ensure success. PathMatch clients have a 100% chance of standing out as a competitive applicant to land top internships and jobs.
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