Companies and organizations offer internships for several reasons. One is to make use of a part-time human resource to do entry-level jobs, freeing more experienced personnel to concentrate on important duties. Another is to develop interest, skills, and experience in potential future employees.
There’s a growing trend these days of human resource divisions turning to interns to fill current job openings. It makes good business sense. Interns have already acquired a basic familiarity with the company and its unique culture, and the company has had an opportunity to observe an intern’s work performance first hand. Depending on the industry, internships are increasingly becoming an entryway into a long-term position with an organization.
Although many still consider an internship to be no more than a way to fill up a CV until something better comes along, if you’re of a mind to make something more of one, there are ways to stand out as an intern and maybe land a great career with a great company.
Be part of the company team.
It may sound like an overused cliche to say “be a team player”, but today’s modern corporate culture stresses being able to function well as part of a team. It’s common for an intern to believe that just the opposite is true and that they must prove that they can work well independently to make an impression. Interns are subordinate to employees, and learning to interact with the group and fit in with others is an expected and necessary skill.
Research the company.
Learn about the company as well as the industry it serves. Read the trade journals and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Your superiors will notice your interest and industry knowledge.
Don’t avoid the mundane jobs.
That’s what companies hire interns to do. Accept any assignment you’re given with enthusiasm and do your best at it.
Develop professional relationships.
Even if an internship doesn’t result in a job offer, it’s an excellent opportunity to network and make valuable contacts.