How to Turn Your Internship into a Full-Time Job!

Internships are a lot like dating: both parties are seeing how they like the other and learning a lot along the way. Interns will see what the “real world” looks like, and form their likes and dislikes when it comes to companies, company cultures, and their roles. Companies view interns as a way to help out with entry-level tasks, as well as gaining meaningful insights from young people who may bring fresh new perspective to the table.

But, just like with dating, there comes a point when the question arises:

Where is this all going?

If you really love your internship, the company, the opportunity, or you just would LOVE to have a full-time paycheck, here are some tips on how to get hired.

  1. Ask questions. “The best interns tend to ask a lot of questions,” says Dan Rosensweig, CEO of Chegg in a Fortune article. “Whether it be about the company, industry, or specific skills—they’re all necessary questions to better help them peruse the right career path. The best interns are bright, naturally curious, and quickly able to build on the skills we teach them, ultimately delivering real value for our company.” Showing a keen interest will strike a cord with your boss—curiosity and passion play a big part in working at a company full time.
  2. Go above and beyond. We’re not talking showing up before everyone else with a dozen lattes; we’re talking about going beyond simply getting your daily tasks done. How can you exceed expectations? Say you got your to-do list done for the day, and you still have the afternoon.
    Instead of asking your boss, ‘Now what?’ take some initiative and do some work on your own. Perhaps the drawers need organizing, or you have a fresh idea on how to better deliver projects. Write up an outline of your idea. It’s always important to check in before starting a major project, but showing you genuinely care and having fresh, innovative ideas are a great asset to the company that will get you noticed fast.
  1. Get to know your coworkers. If you view your time at your internship as short-lived, and you don’t take the time to get to know the people you’re working with, it will be just that: temporary. Half [and sometimes more] of the reason people get hired at a company is if they fit in well with the culture and get along with the people in it. We’re not talking brown-nosing here, but striking up conversations with your cube mates, going out for lunch or happy hours, and establishing relationships will make you seem personable and friendly, and you’ll probably make some friends along the way.
    These contacts can become pat of your professional network and may be valuable later on in your career. Plus: you can subtlety ask coworkers how they got hired and what it would take for you to score a full-time position.
  1. Become indispensable. Work so hard and do so well that the company won’t know what to do without you. Once you’ve made sure you’re always on time, look and act professional and show a can-do attitude—where else can you add value?
  • Take on an independent project that focuses on a specific area of expertise that’s missing or underrepresented in your office.
  • Is the company not so social-media savvy? Be the social media guru and help grow those accounts or write a plan on how to do it.
  • Is the office a mess and you’re a fantastic organizer? Set up systems or reorganize the kitchen. They’ll think you can reorganize other things too!
  • Be sure to remain flexible. Perhaps the internship had you doing one specific set of things, but your coworker is in a dilemma and needs your help with a deadline. Lend a helping hand.

If you can make your colleagues’ lives much easier, which is a major part of being an intern, they’ll want to keep you around for the long haul.

           5. Schedule check-ins. After six months at my absolute favorite internship I ever had, I took my boss out for a coffee date to check in. I asked her point blank how I was doing, how I could improve, and what the chances were of me scoring a full-time job.

Although I didn’t get the answer I was looking for (they were looking to hire someone full time who was more senior), I am very glad I took the time to ask. It was a way I could improve my craft, cement the relationship, and ask my boss for a good reference.
Not only will it help you, but it will impress your boss by showing you care enough to improve your work as well as showing a genuine interest in the company. If a position isn’t available immediately, perhaps they will keep you in mind down the road if something opens up, or refer you to another great company.

          6. Last, but not least, when your internship does come to a close, be sure to write thank-you notes (yes, by hand) reiterating how much you loved working there and why. Even if you can’t get hired right away, a full-time position, either at that company or another, is waiting for you right around the corner.