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Friday 5 June 2015

8 Tips to Turn Your Internship into a Career

We are already in the heart of the summer internship period, and you know it’s never too early to look to the future. That’s why we have written this post to give you tips on how to convert your internship into a job offer.

We’ve spoken to hundreds of interns & now we can confidently bring you the top 8 points you need to focus on this summer to make yourself invaluable.

Why do I need to know this?
With hundreds of interns passing through each company every year - with a particular spike in the summer - only a handful are able to secure permanent roles.

The internship “funnel” has become the only route to a job in many companies nowadays - offices are much more likely to hire previous interns than risk an untested person.
The main tips for converting an internship into a job are:
  • Impress as many people as possible. Cast your net wide: your line manager may not be in a position to hire you after your internship, but someone else might be. Don’t forget to treat everyone with kindness - if not just because it’s the right thing to do, because it’s also smart to leave a good impression with everyone.
  • Get to know HR to find out which parts of the company are likely to have an opportunity available when you finish your internship.
  • Attach yourself to 'key' projects so the company will want to keep you around past the end of your internship. If you are tasked with a “one-off” project, be sure to make it memorable and try to connect it to an ongoing project as well.
  • Make yourself indispensable. Take work off of other people’s backs,and make some attempts at managing projects, but ease up on managing people as that may be seen as punching above your pay grade. Show that you are worth keeping, rather than the company having to train someone up to your level.
  • Make yourself desirable. Line up other opportunities (preferably with competitors) to give yourself a stronger negotiating position at the end of your internship.
  • Show genuine interest in the work of others. If you are at all interested in the day-to-day operations of someone else at the company, express that! Ask lots of questions & show engagement, if you’re shy an email is a good way to break the ice with co-workers.
  • Ask for projects that reduce work for management. Think of it this way; what can you do to help your manager go home early? Ask for projects that will make their life easier - the easier their life is with you in it, the more they will push for you to become a permanent hire. This can go hand-in-hand with showing interest. “I see you do a lot of work with KISSmetrics - can you show me how you do that, and maybe I can take some of that off your hands?”
  • Find out what you like & excel at, and own it. The more you engage with your co-workers and find out what they do, and the more projects you take on that belonged to others, the more easily you will find out what you are particularly good at - and what you enjoy! When you find that, own it. Give an update once a week on your progress in a project that you’ve created. This makes you seem like you’re already a member of the team. 
Wait, should I be making tea?
Depends on where you’re interning! Some places it’s tea, some places it’s coffee. In all honesty though, it’s not just about making drinks for people, it’s about showing a willingness to help & blend in with the work culture in a pleasant way. Follow the lead of others in the company, and if they’re kind & do little things for each other like making tea or offering sweets, then you should do the same.

If it’s not that sort of office - perhaps it’s best to not begin your career there, anyway.

Looking for an internship in London? We regularly post internship open positions on our Twitter account!

More Internship Advice?

We’ve got that in spades, take a look at the following links: