As a college student in the home stretch towards graduation, there’s only one feeling that’s better than landing a dream internship—that is landing a dream job. Let’s assume you got the internship. Exhale. Celebrate. Plan to work your butt off for the summer. What else? How do you actually turn that dream internship into your dream full-time, paid job? Follow my five steps, and your odds are really good to make that full-time job a reality.
1. Crush the internship.
Over-deliver on what they hired you to do, especially on items that are your boss’ priority. Master the basics of your internship, ask for feedback, and if your boss is clearly impressed with your work, then suggest that you can handle more.
2. Do a stretch assignment.
Once you’ve mastered the basics of the internship, ask your boss if you can assist with a project in another department that interests you. This is a great way to build your skills and network within the company. This also gives you the chance to have a leg up on openings in that department, too.
3. Be someone people want to be around.
Many people would be a great hire for the responsibilities of the position, but the person who actually gets the full-time job also fits in with the team. Bring positive energy and a can-do attitude to the job every day. And don’t pass up on social opportunities outside of work.
4. Build advocates throughout the company.
You need people from your department and beyond to be recommending you once the right full-time position opens up. Be sure people know your goal is to stay with the company post-internship. The goal is for them to be motivated to help you get in because you’ve done great work and they believe in you.
5. Ace the interview.
Yes, you’re an intern—but if you blow the interview out of the water, people won’t be thinking of you as the intern for long. In my book, Made To Hire: How to Get the Job You Really Want, I talk about a few keys to ensure you ace the interview:
a) Do your research on the people who will be interviewing you.
b) Build an impressive portfolio to hand out to each of the interviewers.
c) Get really great at telling your own story (this typically kicks off the interview).
d) Prep how you’ll answer key questions.
e) Have a few great questions to ask at the end of the interview.
You’ve got this!
The owner of Made To Hire, Merryn Roberts-Huntley is a successful businesswoman and has worked with companies such as Nike, Columbia, and adidas. She focuses on helping clients find their "dream job" and advancing their career through networking, resume building, and personal branding.
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