Most interns report for their first day of typically unpaid work with the hope that the position will eventually blossom into a full-time, paying position. Unfortunately, the amount of competitors coupled with the decreased amount of available employment opportunities often sends interns packing up their cubicles at the end of the summer with nothing more than a recommendation letter. Make yourself stand out in the crowd by following these steps to turn your internship into a career.
Put Up with the Tedious Tasks
Interning isn’t always fun. Sometimes, it can be downright tedious. In a perfect world, interns would be recognized and appreciated for all of the boring and monotonous work they do that keeps the office running. Unfortunately, that’s rarely the case. Interns are seldom paid and often talked down to and treated unfairly. In fact, don’t be surprised if your supervisor never bothers to learn your name. While this can be disheartening, try your best not to take it too personally. Interning is a game of survival of the fittest. Demonstrating that you can endure less-than-desirable situations shows your boss that you are resilient and will get your work done no matter what. Let them know what kind of employee they’d be getting!
Be, Be Aggressive
Co-workers can make or break your time at work. It’s not uncommon for interns to become close friends after a few months of working together. However, if you are serious about pursuing employment, remember that in this scenario, your friends also are your competition. While it’s unnecessary to display competitiveness at the "Hunger Games" level, it would be prudent to keep your eye on the prize. If you have a great idea in mind, whip up a proposal and present it to your boss on your own. Teamwork is undoubtedly important; however, independence and initiative can go a long way. Don’t allow personal feelings and relationships to dull your professional shine.
Go the Extra Mile
When you realize that interning is less Lauren Conrad in the Teen Vogue closet and more Anne Hathaway in the "Devil Wears Prada" (as in fetching Starbucks, not receiving glamorous makeovers), you might experience a decrease in the enthusiasm you initially felt when you were filling out the application. However, now is not the time to get complacent. Get to work on time or early, stay late to finish your projects if necessary, and always be alert and attentive. Put effort into everything that you are assigned, no matter how unnecessary it may seem. No task is too small. Displaying a strong work ethic when you are not getting paid will leave your employers with a favorable impression. Remember: you never know when you are being tested.
Make Your Intentions Known
When the time comes for you to transition from being an intern to an employee, it’s best to be forward and direct. Schedule some time with your boss to speak privately. Remember, this is not an interview. It’s simply an opportunity to throw your hat in the ring. Express to your boss that you’ve enjoyed your internship while noting what you’ve learned and how it has enabled you to grow professionally. Make a point to articulate the successes you’ve had as well, illuminating what an asset you’ll be to the team. It’s vital that you display how you’re an asset to the team.
If you find yourself at an internship that you truly love, it’s important to pluck up your courage and determination. While it may be intimidating to make that first step, you’d be doing yourself a disservice if you didn’t try. Remember, you always miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take. Put your best foot forward and work hard. Follow these tips and you’ll find that you’ll have an intern fetching you coffee in no time!
By: Adjoa Bruce | Image: Source