Internships have become a modern day rites of passage for anyone completing their university programme, from being a graduate looking to kick start their career to an MBA graduate looking to join a top Global Leadership Programme. However despite the positives of getting some real industry experience on an internship, ultimately there’s only one thing most interns are after…a job offer! After working for 3months (and in some cases unpaid) to be finally told that they aren’t going offer you a position, isn’t an easy blow to take.
So to help I’ve put together some of my top tips to ensure you put yourself in the strongest possible position to turn your internship in to a job offer!
Engage in Active Listening Small Talk
As humans we are social creatures. How we interact and relate to each other plays a big part in how we‘re perceived. Your goal as an intern is to leave a positive impression on your boss and colleagues. So by engaging on a slightly more personal level will help to build that positive perception.
One of the keys to this is to engage in small talk. Ask how their weekend was, if they have any plans for the weekend and so on. Now the key when it comes to small talk is to ensure that you actively listen and internalise what they say- you’re not just small talking to kill time but to build a relationship! So if their plans were to go to a festival or join a yoga class. On Monday ask them about it. By engaging with colleagues from around the office throughout the week and investing a small amount of time to build relationships. This will eventually pay dividends at the end of your internship. It will show that you’re a great fit for the organisation and this will play an important factor in whether you’re offered a job.
Be Proactive and Participate
If you want something, you have to go after it! Don’t rest on your laurels. Ensure that you get involved, if you’re in a meeting don’t be afraid to put your ideas forward . If you see a problem don’t be shy to go out of your way to find a solution and bring it your manager.
Now the sceptics of this approach might say “Well, what if my input, ideas and solutions aren’t good enough! Wouldn’t it work against me?”. In this instance I would argue no, because in any graduate role or leadership programme/scheme companies aren’t necessarily looking for the finished article, they know that you’ll need time to develop and grow. Your goal is to prove them that you’re worth the investment! Through being proactive and participating, the qualities which employers look for, such as commitment, enthusiasm and drive are all on show. So by you becoming a living personification of those qualities, it will undoubtedly increase your chances of getting an offer.
Ask for advice, look for Mentors
As mentioned above when starting a new grad job you’re far from the finished article. Two of the qualities managers will be assessing are your ability to get up to speed with the work and whether you have the desire to learn and fulfil your potential. By asking your peers for advice, guidance and where possible putting it in to practice will show that you do have that desire! Now the key here is that once you’ve asked for advice and put it in to practice, you make sure you inform them of it. This works on two levels, firstly it shows that you’re seeking to improve and secondly they will appreciate that you are giving them credit for any success you’ve had due to their advice. If it’s a senior manager they might even take you under their wing and act as your mentor and this will only work in your favour when it comes to offering you a job and also when you’re seeking to progress within the company.
Implementing these methods doesn’t take much, however it can potentially be the difference between being offered the job or not at the end of your internship. As the saying goes it’s the little things that can make the big things happen!
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