Every few months, especially during the summer, floods of interns, like your good self, descend on our nations capital to gain valuable experience interning in DC.
For many of you guys, this internship will pave the way for you to land your dream job. For the very best of you, it could even result in a full-time job offer after the internship ends.
But just how do these interns get this offer? Well my friends, as our resident internship expert (I’ve had 12 and half internships to date and counting…), I’ve worked with the best of the best (myself included!) and picked up some great tips along the way.
Luckily for you, I’m willing to share these tips with you. I know, I know, I’m just way too good to you sometimes.
1. Choose The Right Internship
One of the best things about interning is that it gives you a chance to see if this is really the career for you. It also allows you to see if you will enjoy working with the company, potentially long-term. But before you start your internship, it’s important to ask yourself “Do I really want this internship?” or “Is this internship really for me?”
If the answer is no then this isn’t the right internship for, and it definitely won’t result in a full-time job offer. If your heart isn’t in it, you won’t be able to give the job 110%. There are many other interns out there who would though, so if you think it’s not for you let them take it and keep searching for the one you really want.
2. Show You Fit In
One of the most important things for any boss, is that their employees fit in with the company culture. Make sure you arrive at work at the same time (or earlier) than everybody else, don’t be the first to leave in the evening (stay later if you can) and follow the office dress code (see some office appropriate style). Also, be respectful of your co-workers and those in higher positions than you, and above all else, show that you are a likable person who can easily get along with others.
3. Be A Team Player
This is also super important.It’s highly unlikely that you will work on your own at a company. You will probably have a number of collaborative relationships with your co-workers, so it’s important that you can show you work well with others. Your employer will want to see that you are willing to work for the better of the group and the company and not just for yourself.
4. Set Goals
Your boss will have expectations around what they expect you to achieve during your internship. It’s important that you meet with your manager to establish what their expectations are, so you can meet them and work towards exceeding them.
Your managers expectations shouldn’t be the end point of what you do during your internship. It should be a mark of the minimum you achieve over the course of your time with the company. Ultimately, your goals should exceed what your manager expects. Be sure to go the extra mile and it will pay off.
5. Ask Questions
Just like with trying to be the best intern ever, if you want to turn your internship into a job, you have to ask questions. Asking questions will show that you are genuinely interested in the job, are willing to learn and want to be better a what you do.
6. Be Assertive/Proactive
One of your internship goals should be to learn as much as possible. You can do this by working hard on the projects you are assigned to and also by volunteering for other assignments. It’s important that you don’t spread yourself too thin, but don’t think that you have to stick to one certain area during your time with the company.
If you have free time, offer your services to someone who needs help or ask your boss if they have another job for you. This will speak volumes about your work ethic and show that you are willing to do more than what was on the job description. More importantly, it will show your boss how much you want to work there, which will work in your favor if a full-time position becomes available.
7. Network! Network! Network!
Networking is key for every area of business, but especially when you are an intern. Try to network with as many of your co-workers as possible (both during and outside working hours), so you can start to develop a relationship.
Use your lunch break to meet some of your fellow colleagues, and happy hour to build relationships with other interns or younger members of staff. You never know when having these connections may pay off in the future.
I know networking doesn’t come naturally to some people. Are you one of these people? Take a these tips for how to network with anyone.
8. Look For Feedback
It’s important that you look for feedback throughout your internship. Not only will this feedback allow you to improve and perform better, it will also show your boss that you are willing to work hard to prove yourself and do a good job.
9. Ask About Any Job Opportunites
Be direct and ask about any potential permanent job opportunites. How is your boss supposed to know that you want more than an internship?
You can also go a step further and make your boss aware of a position (that you could fill) that may not even exist yet. Maybe your employer has some needs that aren’t currently being met? You could propose a job that you could do to make sure they are.
10. Keep In Touch
After your internship finishes, don’t just cut off all contact and never speak to anyone at the company again. Keep in touch and network with them after you have left. You could start by sending thank you notes. You can also send them casual emails asking about the company or even looking for more feedback or advice.
It’s also important that you make an effort to get to know and keep in touch with the human resources department and recruiters. They could be the ones who put you forward for a position when it becomes available.
Follow these 10 tips, you’ll be on the road to landing your dream job in no time.