According to research taken from the National Association of Colleges and Employers, companies hired more interns in 2017 than they had in previous years, new studies show that 60% of the time, having had an internship will result in a full-time job offer. Students who choose to intern during the summer have a better chance of receiving a job offer or making connections that lead to a job offer. Internships allow for students to receive hands-on experience, the opportunity to network, and the chance to show employers their work ethic, character, and developed skills first-hand. By connecting and building relationships with recruiters earlier on, students position themselves for success.
But it takes more than just simply choosing to intern. Going in prepared, open-minded, and building relationships are only a few of the components that will help in turning an internship into a career. Below is a list of things to keep in mind when you start your first day.
Before you accept an internship, find out if you know anyone who has interned for that company before. Ask them about their experience and what they thought of their time there. Get prior knowledge before you commit three months to a company.
This might not be a real job, but it should be treated as one. One goal of an internship is to find a place that is right for you. It’s the beginning stages of building a foundation to launch your career. Arrive on time, follow dress code, treat everyone with respect, and focus on doing your best work.
This is your opportunity to meet professionals in the industry. Make sure you have the chance to meet employees in various departments, ask them questions, and learn about their experiences with the company. But don’t just focus on the leaders; make connections with your fellow interns. Those can serve as valuable contacts down the road. You never know what door will open because you took the time to extend your hand and connect.
This is huge! Companies don’t expect you to know everything as an intern and you shouldn’t either. Don’t be nervous to ask questions about assignments or afraid to get clarification. You are there to expand your knowledge and soak up information. Companies are aware of this and expect you to ask questions throughout the duration of your time with them. In fact, they might be more concerned if you don’t ask any questions at all.
Make sure you know why you are there. What are the skills you want to use? What are the skills you want to learn? What are projects you want to work on? Why are you interning at the company? Sit down with your supervisor and lay out your goals together. The way you get the most out of each internship is by working together to determine common goals.
Stay in Contact
One of the most important things you can do is stay in contact with the company after the internship. Keep an open relationship and make sure you know when opportunities are coming up. Build those relationships and maintain those connections. Don’t let communication go silent. Be intentional about staying in contact.