Traditionally, major and majority of companies fill up their entry level positions by hiring fresh graduates from various universities and colleges. This has been the most common form of hiring for most companies. But the latest trend that has picked upwind is the ‘intern’ culture. Many companies hire interns for a short duration, say a month or two. These interns by virtue of getting in early prove their mettle and the best of them are then hired by the company on a permanent basis. The best simulation you can run to test whether a candidate is suitable for your business is make them work for you for a brief period of time. This is what an internship is all about. Some leading corporates have altogether abandoned the conventional graduate hiring route in favour of hiring the best interns who have impressed them over the summer. So, it becomes imperative that you make the most out of a good internship to get the best possible out of it.
To give you the basic template on how to convert this internship into a credible job offer, we, at Careermarshal have curated a list of tips that you should follow:
Set your priorities straight
The primary question you should be asking yourself is: What is your end objective from this internship? Depending upon the career path that you have chosen and the stage at which you are: You might be on a commercial law vacation scheme, on an Investment Banking spring week then you might want a training contract with the firm in the former case and might want a graduate role with the bank in the latter case.
However, if getting a job with the company is not your end goal, be clear what the goal is; do you want to diversify your contacts, improve upon your skill set or just want exposure to a new experience? Work along those lines from the day one at your internship.
Take initiative and be proactive from the word go
An employee who takes initiatives is an employee who is desired at the workplace. Be that employee. To achieve the target of being proactive, ask your manager for more work if your allotted work is finished before time (it also displays that you’re faster than average and a team player), give more suggestions, new ideas for different company procedures or helping in the rearrangement of office space.
Interns have the added advantage of a fresh perspective to old problems, so bring it to the fore and contribute wisely.
Temperament is the key
Most interns are students who are just not ready for the grind of corporate life. This makes the company wary of hiring and trusting interns in the first place. You have to work against these prejudices. You are being evaluated at every stage of an internship for ‘work readiness’, so make sure you excel on all parameters. This makes for a strong case for you to be kept as a full time employee. Respect the time that is allowed for you to do something, dress according to the office culture, be enthusiastic about the company and always keep yourself organized in terms of tasks you have to do. Display how integral you can be to the operation of the team so that they will want you back.
Always take feedback from your reporting manager
Be sure to remain in touch with the manager about your workload and responsibilities. Be upfront to them if you feel that you are working too much for long hours or any other qualms you have regarding work. Communicate how you are dealing with it all and whether you are ready for more.
Even if you’re lagging behind, still talk to the manager about it. Although frame your grievances not in a complaining tone but rather talk about how you’re trying your best and how you need a bit more tips and/or time to sort it all out.
Feedback is a very important thing but it becomes crucial in internships.
Many companies have pre-decided avenues to give timely and correct feedback to their employees. Even if your company doesn’t have it, just straightaway ask for it when the time comes. Talk with your manager on 2 or 3 month cycle about how you fared and what more you could have done. Ask for constructive on how you could improve further. The manager will perceive you as someone who wants to develop and is also much grounded.
Make friends but be professional too
Most companies want to display to their interns how they are a fun place to work by organizing various events especially curated for interns. Interns, hence, have ample avenues to socialize. What you should take utmost care of is not being that person who got a bit too friendly and tipsy at the party for interns. Maintain the balancing act between being fun and not being over the top clown. Remember that these are not the parties where you get drunk and talk in embarrassing details about your non-existent love life.
Up your networking game
One of the best things about an internship is the ease with which you can build your professional network. Build healthy camaraderie with your colleagues and learn from them to grow more. Invite your senior to a coffee rendezvous so that you can communicate with them about their experiences and careers. Have good questions at your disposal to make the most of both of your time. Take cues from them on their own career and journey. Also try to interact with people who are not in your team. This gives you a fresh perspective on the company. Also try to stay in touch through mails, LinkedIn or any other medium after your internship ends. Never underestimate the ability of a person to be useful to you in the future!