You start an internship with one goal in mind, to get a job. So, what can you do to make the most of your internship and position yourself as a prime candidate for a full-time position? As a former intern and the current lead for Porter Novelli Atlanta’s internship program, here are my top five tips:
1. Be professional. This includes dressing appropriately, avoiding personal calls at work, arriving on time (or early!) and avoiding checking your Facebook page 10 times a day. By conveying a sense of professionalism, your colleagues will know that they can count on you. You want to become the resource that the company can’t live without. If you do this, you’ll be guaranteed a positive recommendation even if a full-time position isn’t available.
2. Network with colleagues that have just started out with the company. Ask them about their experiences, how they got their job and for tips on what you can do to make a good impression. These are the people that have successfully navigated the same waters that you’re facing now, they’re insights are invaluable.
3. Create your own opportunities. At the beginning of any internship, create a list of the top three to five things that you want to learn during your time with the company. From mastering social media to crafting the perfect pitch, create your own definition for what a successful internship is. Once you start your internship, seek out these opportunities, even if it means working extra hours. You’re initiative will be noticed and appreciated.
4. Keep a positive attitude and be willing to tackle any task. If you want to become invaluable, you have to position yourself as someone who is able to complete any task with a smile. If you think a task is meaningless, or don’t understand how it fits into the bigger picture, ask your manager how the final product will be used and why it’s important.
5. Learn to think one step ahead. By thinking in terms of solutions rather than problems, you will become a valuable member of the team much more quickly. For example, if you’re having trouble getting traction on a media pitch, provide your manager with an update along with a possible solution, such as tweaking the angle or trying a new set of outlets.
Now, I can’t guarantee that doing these things will land you a full-time gig, but they should at least score you a killer recommendation!
- Dawn Brun, Porter Novelli Atlanta