Organizations offer internships for a variety of reasons. One of course, is to utilize a part-time resource to do entry-level type work, thus freeing up their more experienced employees to concentrate on more important tasks. Another is to nurture skills and interest in a future workforce.
But increasingly, human resource departments are scrutinizing interns in search of great candidates to fill current openings. It makes sense, interns already have at least a basic working knowledge of the company and its culture, and the company has already had the opportunity to observe the intern’s performance at first hand. Although it depends on the industry, an internship is increasingly becoming an excellent opportunity to land a long-term position with a company.
Many people still think of an internship as simply a way to pad resumes on the road to something better. A savvy intern looking for a home can easily stand out among peers who may not take the position seriously by keeping a few things in mind.
Be a part of the team.
Being a ‘team player’ may sound like a patronizing cliche, but in today’s corporate environment working well in teams is an essential skill. Many interns assume that the opposite is true and that to make a good impression they have to prove how well they can perform on their own. Interns are in a subordinate position, and learning to work well with others and interact with the group is the first step to a rewarding career with the company.
Do the research.
Learn everything you can about the company and the industry. Read trade journals and ask questions. Your interest and enthusiasm will be noticed.
Don’t shunt the grunt work.
After all, that’s what interns are for. However boring or nonessential a given assignment might be, pursue it with enthusiasm and give it your best effort.
Whether or not an internship leads to a job offer, it’s an invaluable opportunity to network and build professional relationships. And those connections are also invaluable for securing that full-time position right now.