Not only is it summer vacation season, but it’s also unofficially internship season, a time when businesses open their doors to college students so they can receive additional help at a sometimes leaner cost. While businesses benefit from the extra labor, students benefit from the real-world work opportunity to make them more viable as future job candidates.
Internships are great experiences to put on resumes, as they show you can apply your education to the workplace. Plus, they give you an idea of what you like and maybe don’t like about your field. If you have an internship this summer and could see yourself happily working for the internship employer in the future, there are ways you can help transition yourself from intern to colleague.
Here are 5 ways to go from summer intern to full-time employee:
1. Be reliable. If you say you can start at 9 a.m. Monday, be there at 8:45 a.m. Monday. Show that you are serious about this opportunity. Only take sick days if you are knocking on Death’s door. If you hit some serious traffic on the way to work, send them an email letting them know what happened, where you are. Chances are, the employer will understand if you’re upfront with him or her.
2. Do your job and do it well. This one is kind of obvious, but many interns stand out for going above and beyond the call of duty. Yes, showing up is half the battle, but there’s a difference between someone who shows up in professional garb and texts on his or her phone all day and the person who’s actively engaged in his or her intern duties and with fellow employees in general.
3. Be memorable (in a good way). Sometimes internships can be pretty monotonous, but if you can, make yourself so memorable that when you’re not there people wish you were. You can achieve this by doing your job well (see above), but if you don’t have a lot to do at your internship, you could keep it simple, like Donut Fridays where you bring in a dozen donuts for the crew. Or maybe even during some downtime you offer to go out and get people Starbucks when other employees can’t leave their desks. Yes, these examples have to do with food, but never underestimate the power of it. An afternoon pick-me-up can do wonders for company morale. Another way to be memorable is to show up to company functions or take coworkers up on lunch offers, as these are good opportunities to become more than just “the intern.” Colleagues can put names to faces and get to know you a little better.
4. Send follow-up emails/greeting cards. If you’re a college junior and won’t be able to become a full-time employee for another year or so, you can still make the transition. Just don’t let the prospective employer forget you. During the winter season, send a holiday card to say hello and remind them again how much you enjoyed your time with said employer. If you see that the company received a positive mention in a news article, send them a link to it and say, “Good going!” This shows you cared about this work opportunity and still consider yourself a part of the company team.
5. Be upfront with them and tell them you’d like to be considered for any future job openings. This shows initiative, which not every intern has—pluck and spunkiness get remembered. Generally, if you’re upfront with them, they’ll be upfront with you. And when it comes to remembering interns for company roles in the future, they are naturally going to remember the one that asked.