advice for internsInternships will open doors for many college students and recent graduates. The door interns everywhere hope will open is a full-time job offer with their company! Here are some tips to help get that door to open for you:

Look and Act the Part

An internship is not just an internship; it’s more like a semester/summer-long interview, so you must always look and act the part. It might seem silly to think that something as simple as the way you dress and behave can directly impact something as big as earning a job offer, but it truly does. The cliché, “Dress for the job you want, not the job you have,” is great advice! On top of that, behave like a professional by leaving your personal life at home, stopping mindless web surfing and avoiding office gossip.

Always Ask Questions 

You’re an intern; you’re learning. Your supervisor anticipates and expects you to have questions for him/her! Questions show that you want to grow and evolve as a professional and that you’re engaged in the work – two things people making hiring decisions would like see!

Network at Work 

When you first start your internship, meet as many people as you can. Have your firm handshake and 30-second elevator speech ready. Then throughout your internship, try to get to know these people further and work with them on as many projects as you can. Also try to get to know your colleagues outside of the office through lunches and other after-work activities. The more people who can speak for you, your professionalism and work ethic, the better!

Carry a Note Pad and Pen 

This is another tip that may seem trivial, but carrying around a note pad and a pen is a great way to impress. Bring them to every meeting, whether it’s a company-wide conference call or a one-on-one chat. You never know when there will be a learning moment, so you want to make sure you’re always able to jot notes of important things to remember. This shows your organization, preparedness and eagerness.

Ask for More Work

Make a point to volunteer for other projects to supplement your day-to-day tasks. This will give you a chance to work with other people, learn more about other departments and the company in general, as well as impress your supervisor. You might feel busy as it is, but trust us, the extra mile never goes unnoticed!

Stay In Touch

If there is not an open position at that time or if you’re a student who needs to finish another semester, it’s always good to stay in touch with your supervisor and other colleagues. Email them on a regular basis with industry news/trends and try to catch them for lunch or coffee. If a position opens up down the road, you want to be the first person who pops in their mind to fill it!

Internships are a great way to get your foot in the door of a company. Even if you don’t walk away with a full-time job offer, the networking and learning experiences will no doubt lead you to the next opportunity.

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