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Career Advice

How to Turn Your Internship Into a Full-Time Job

By Krisha Maclang on July 7, 2015

Internships are the perfect way for you to get a taste of the real world while you’re still a student. While school is there to teach you the theory and concepts behind your chosen line of work, it still can’t beat actual hands-on experience at an office. It’s also an excellent way to build networks and get to know some people in your industry.

Another advantage to landing an internship? If you're good enough, you'll immediately find yourself on the shortlist of new employees the company is looking to hire. Many an intern has landed full-time work because of a job well done and you can do it too!

Here’s how you to turn your internship into a full-time job:

Build connections

It’s easy to fall into the shyness trap when it’s your first time in an office setting. Who can blame you? You’re at the bottom of the corporate food chain and then you soon realize that Jon Snow’s not the only one who knows nothing. But don’t let your noob status scare you.

Make it a point to be visible and connect with the people at work. It’s not just for the sake of courtesy or socializing, but also for ensuring that the people around you can champion you as a vital member of the team.

Start with your direct supervisor and with the people you work with directly. Ask them about their jobs and what you can do to break into the industry and potentially join the company. Make sure they’re aware of what you do everyday and that you’re doing a good job - but do not brag. If you’re doing a great job at work and no one knows you or anything you’ve done, it will be hard to convince Human Resources or any executive that you’re worth keeping around.

And even if you don’t land a permanent job, you’ve already built a veritable network of contacts you can tap into for references or job leads in the future. Not a bad start in the corporate world!

Hustle, hustle, hustle

Most internships are unpaid and are just a requirement to complete a degree. Thinking about it that way can lead you to settle for putting in the bare minimum at work. But if you want to land a permanent job at the company you’re interning in, don’t settle for mediocre work.

Nothing else can bring you far in life but good ol’ hustle. Work hard at every single task given to you, whether it’s a huge project or something menial. Been asked to do something boring like photocopy a press release about your company? Make it the best copy they’ve seen and make multiple copies! It may seem like such a small thing to exert effort in but remember: if they can’t trust you with small tasks, how can they rely on you for bigger ones?

Be proactive

There’s nothing a supervisor loves more than an eager, go-getter of an intern. When you can, go above and beyond what is asked of you.

As an intern, your core set of tasks will be pretty lean so you’ll have a lot of down time. But instead of simply surfing the web or chit chatting with other interns, use this time to be proactive with your work.

If you’re done with your assigned tasks, try looking for other projects that need to be done. Picking up the slack will show people that you have initiative and that you’re serious about being a relevant member of the company.

Try helping out at a company event or help in improving systems or processes in the office. If you manage to solve or create something huge, you can be sure that people at work will remember you.

Ask for feedback

At the beginning of your internship, make it a point to establish goals with your supervisor. That way you can regularly meet with him or her to periodically evaluate your progress.

If you’re gunning for a full-time job, you’ll want to put in your best work. Evaluations help you figure out your strengths and spot your weaknesses. Together with your boss, you can work on building your strengths and improving your weak spots.

Asking for feedback also signals that you want to grow as an employee and that you’re willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done. It shows eagerness to become the right employee for the position and for the company. The road to your first job may be a rough one if you’re a fresh grad. Competition can be steep as you have to outshine fellow fresh grads and people who have already had a few years of experience in the industry. But if you manage to land an internship and excel in it, landing a job will be much, much smoother.