Just when you think they hard work is over, and you’ve nabbed yourself that graduate internship, you remember the clock is ticking. Internships by their very nature are only temporary, so once you’ve got your foot though the door, it’s up to you to keep that door propped open.
You don’t have to panic though. If the job role and company are a perfect fit for you and your skills, they’ll probably see that and try to keep you on anyway. But if you want to try and guarantee that full-time position, here’s some key things you should be doing…
Go above and beyond the job description
This is, without a doubt, the best way to stand out and make a strong impression in your new place of work. As the intern, your responsibilities aren’t likely to be huge. So don’t be afraid to go above and beyond what you’re asked to do. Use your initiative to spot areas you think need work, and ask your line manager if they would appreciate some help.
For example, if they’re asking you to post on the Facebook page, ask if they would like you to put together a Facebook strategy for the year, identifying some best practice and analysing competitors. Always check in with your line manager first to see if your proposal is something they would actually benefit from, but no doubt they’ll be impressed with your forward-thinking.
Say yes to everything
That being said, don’t shirk the ‘boring’ tasks either. Take on board everything that’s thrown your way and do it well. Don’t take on too much to the point where you’re not able to complete tasks properly, but try and put in the extra mile at the beginning to show that you mean business.
Plus, if you get asked to do something you’re not entirely sure on, say yes but ask for some support as you complete it. Seize the opportunity to learn new things, and show a willingness to grow and develop.
Build strong work relationships
If you breeze through your internship and don’t bother to get to know anyone, you’re sending off all the signals that you’re just a temporary guest. But take the time to form actual relationships with your colleagues, and they’ll think you’re here to stay.
Stop telling yourself that you’re ‘just the intern’, and start viewing your colleagues as just that – work colleagues on your level. Get to know them and integrate yourself as part of the team.
Put 100% into everything
Even if it’s just the tea round. Approach everything with enthusiasm but also with a meticulous attention to detail. Making mistakes is fine (you’re only human after all), but don’t be sloppy.
Your manager doesn’t want to have to spend loads of time correcting your mistakes, so prove to them that you’re capable of getting the job done to a high standard. The less they have to ‘worry’ about you, the more likely they’ll be to ask you to stay on full-time.
Contribute in meetings
This one can be scary when you’re new, but the key is all in the preparation. Try and find out which meetings you’ll be invited along to in advance, and ask what you’ll be discussing. This will enable you to go away and do your research, and come to the meeting prepared with some points and suggestions.
Don’t feel like you need to say something radical. One or two small suggestions and comments to show to that you’re engaged in the topic and that you have some ideas to contribute will go a long way to impress.
Ask for feedback
Develop a good relationship with your line manager by asking for feedback. Ask them how you’re doing and if there’s anything you could improve on. After all, you’re not going to walk in there as a perfect, fully formed career god. We can all improve and learn from those around us, so make sure you’re asking for, and learning from, feedback.
This will help you understand exactly what the team is looking for, and how you can better fill the gaps. And that’s your ticket to your full-time job.
It’s not always easy to convert an internship to a full-time graduate job, and a lot of the time it depends on the company itself – their budget and demands. But do all of the above, and you’ll be putting yourself in a strong position to get that job offer at the end.