3 Steps to Successful Internships

 So much to do; so little time.  For better or worse, the definition of internships have changed overtime.  The number of companies that hire fulltime candidates from the intern pool has skyrocketed in the past few years.  The stakes are much higher for internship candidates to obtain an offer from an employer of choice. Internships have long been considered the 10 – 12 week interview; however, students are feeling the pressure to out shine their co-interns even more than before.     

Here are three things to do during your internship that are sure to make a lasting impression and set you on a positive course towards success. 

  1. Find a mentor:  Build a working relationship with someone within the organization who can offer candid and sage advice throughout your internship.  This person should not be your boss or a fellow intern. Find someone in the company who is well respected and connected.  Be interested in learning ways to be more effective. 
  2. Connect with your supervisor:  Your supervisor can be your best of champions or your worst of enemies when it comes to securing fulltime employment from an internship.  You want your supervisor to find you invaluable.  Be a great communicator, always have a positive attitude, and far exceed the department’s expectations if you want to increase your chances of receiving a fulltime offer.
  3. Welcome and seek feedback:  One major difference between school and work is the timing and delivery of feedback.  As students, you are used to getting feedback after every homework assignment, every quiz and every exam. Some organizations only offer formal feedback during annual reviews or internship exit interviews.  Try to briefly meet with your supervisor every week or so to discuss your performance, and make a concerted effort to correct or polish the areas where improvement is recommended.

Be an asset to the team, and make the employer grow to say, “We cannot afford to not hire this excellent candidate.”  Go beyond your job description.   Always seek ways to deliver quality results and build lasting professional relationships along the way.

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