Internships are one of the best ways to procure work experience and polish up your resume for better employment prospects. What if you dream of working in the very company you are interning at?
Here are 4 strategies to impress your boss and raise your chances of being converted to full-time staff.
Maximize your learning during the internship
Credits: Pepperdine Community
According to the Millikin University's Center for Academic and Professional Performance (CAPP), most employers keep a lookout for interns who take the initiative to learn as much as possible about the scope of their job. This way, your wealth of knowledge about what the company or department does will make it a lot easier to train you for a full-time position.
It is crucial to keep an open mind and an inquisitive nature as you go about your projects or tasks. Supervisors love it when interns ask plenty of pertinent questions or request performance feedback, as it demonstrates how keen they are to grow and understand more about the work they are doing.
This is especially so because an internship often does not cover every aspect of a full-time role, meaning there is always something new that can be garnered. Also, the learning environment in school tends to be more guided so asking questions and clarifying doubts during your internship would help you to survive the more independent working climate.
During your internship training, it is recommended to jot down notes so that you do not miss out on any step. Following Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) accurately is one of the parameters to securing a return offer, as neglecting even one step could bring about disastrous outcomes for the company or its clients.
In April 2022, a Kinder chocolate factory in Belgium was forced to shut down due to being linked to dozens of salmonella cases as a result of “internal failures”. Such slips in protocols paint a negative picture of one’s ability to follow instructions properly, hence minimizing the chances of a full-time opportunity.
Maintain a healthy working relationship with your colleagues
The adage ‘work is like your second home’ rings no truer, given how one would expend a third or even a half of a day working. Thus, a tight-knit team of employees is of paramount importance. Be approachable, and mingle with your co-workers and supervisors from time to time so that the work environment is warm and cozy, instead of tense and cold. Furthermore, you will be equipped with better interpersonal skills as well as foster new friendships, making the experience much more meaningful.
Besides socializing, offering a helping hand to your colleagues is an often surefire way to get in their good books. It can be as simple as helping to carry materials from a worker who is struggling with the load or to clean up workstations after work. By taking the initiative to contribute in any way you can, your colleagues would want to continue working with you in the future and thus, most likely recommend you to the boss for a full-time position.
If you have the time, such as during your lunch break, you should also network with the people in other related departments of the company to make yourself more noticeable. It is no harm in learning about what the other sectors do, as it gives you a crystal clear idea of the company’s mission and overall workflow.
Be confident in yourself
If you have the belief that you CAN excel at your internship, that confidence often shows up in your body language cues. For example, maintaining an upright posture and eye contact, or taking down notes while nodding often highlight attentive listening and assertive speaking ability. By being sure of what you know and communicating your ideas clearly, your work community would be more receptive to your inputs on how to perhaps better an SOP or troubleshoot a machine more efficiently.
Moreover, being confident often means being able to speak up about your rights, which goes a long way in safeguarding you from being taken advantage of. For example, if you are told to work overtime every day, you should voice out that while you are willing to help out, you also need sufficient rest and as such, will not be able to commit to daily overtime. Of course, you should explain to your supervisor in a friendly, professional tone so that he/she would be willing to see from your point of view. The bottom line is - if you feel that something is not right, have the confidence to say or do something about it to nip it in the bud. Sometimes, your supervisor wants to see if you can be vocal about issues, as this could translate into you being vocal about lapses in the company’s operations.
Track your accomplishments
The accomplishments do not necessarily have to be in the form of awards or competitions, or only about hitting KPIs. Rather, they can include details of extra initiatives you have taken, consistency in delivering results within reference ranges, clarifying a new intern’s doubts, or having a zero (or almost zero) record of mistakes made throughout your internship. Subsequently, you can email this list to your supervisor when persuading him/her for a chance to work at the company full-time.
Although everyone’s internship experiences differ, the above tips have been proven time and time again to make you more attractive to hiring managers. Always remember to give your ultimate best in every duty assigned to you, with an optimistic attitude and a team player mentality.