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Career Advice for Job Seekers

Turn Your Internship into an Entry Level Job Offer

William Frierson AvatarWilliam Frierson
August 13, 2015

view of Two interns working together assisted by their course supervisor

View of Two interns working together assisted by their course supervisor. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

As college students head back to school, they may be looking to gain some work experience through internships.  An internship can give a student the chance to learn more about a potential career field and be a great addition to his or her resume.  However, once a student is hired as an intern, he or she must make a great impression to the point that an employer will want to hire him or her for an entry level job.  Here are some tips to help you turn your internship into a job offer.

Avoid complaining about the work you do – When you are an intern, you may be asked to do certain tasks that aren’t necessarily fun, but don’t worry about that.  Work with a smile, and shine like the star you are.  Remember, you have to pay your dues first before you are given other opportunities.

Initiate as an intern – While you might be hesitant to share your thoughts and ideas as an intern, taking initiative is actually a good thing.  This shows that you want to be involved in what’s going on.  In addition, if you have completed all of your work, ask if you can help anyone else; doing so demonstrates you are a team player.

Connect with your colleagues – It is important to get along with the people you work with.  Be nice to everyone you meet during your internship, and take some time to get to know them.  Hopefully, you can find someone that can even mentor you as it relates to the company.  Also, you never know who can assist you in getting the entry level job you want.

Ask questions – Whether it is needing help with an assignment or learning about the company culture, don’t be shy about asking questions.  The more knowledge you obtain, the more comfortable you will feel as an intern.

Get feedback – If you are not receiving any information from your boss when it comes to the job you’re doing, then politely ask for some feedback.  Find out what you are doing well and what you can improve for future reference.  Your employer will see that you care about the position and want to put your best foot forward.

Research employers of interest – It’s not a bad idea to research other companies you would like to work for in case you’re not offered a job with the company you are interning for.  Just make sure you do it outside of the office, as you do not want to potentially ruin your chances if your employer is considering you as a candidate to fill a job.

Internships give college students an opportunity to gain some valuable work experience.  The impressions they make during this experience can either help or hurt their entry level job searches.  By following the tips above, students can prove themselves to the extent that their employers can’t wait to hire them.

Over the summer, you may have discovered that you’re in a less than perfect internship where you find yourself scrambling for things to do, or trying to figure out how you can best fit in with the rest of the team. If so, that’s a great opportunity to test your mettle in self-

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