After countless hours of hitting the books and months of searching for that dream internship, 10 weeks might be the only thing standing between you and a full-time offer. That means in just 10 short weeks, you have to prove you’re a fit with their organization, you can perform at a very high level, and that you genuinely want the job.
So what can you do to stack the odds of turning your internship into a full-time gig in your favor?
1. Chase the rabbit. When starting a new internship, it’s hard to pace yourself. If you do too much, you could be seen as someone who is showing off. If you don’t do enough, you could be pegged a slacker. Much like long distance runners follow the pace of the lead runner or “rabbit,” it’s important to find a fellow intern or full-time employee that you can use as a barometer.
2. Be a problem solver. If you’re currently interning with the company you’d like to work for full-time, you’re already ahead of the game because you will have first-hand knowledge about the challenges they’re currently facing. You can leverage that information when making a pitch for how you can help them fill in a gap or address a need.
3. Produce. Make no mistake about it, there’s a strong correlation between personal marketability and personal productivity. When managers are making decisions about bringing someone onboard, they’re going to focus on your ability to go above and beyond what would normally be expected of you as an intern.
4. Be a shameless (almost shameless) self promoter. Your perceived value to the organization could hinge solely on your boss and how much he or she promotes your contributions to others in the department or company. Instead of leaving it to chance, look for opportunities to participate on, and have an impact with, cross-functional teams.
5. Ask. Even if you’re doing great work as an intern, it might not be obvious to the company that you’d like to work there full time. Don’t be afraid to ask your supervisor about the possibility of working there full-time following the completion of your internship.
If you play your cards right, at the end of 10 weeks you’ll be able to convert your internship into a full-time offer. Whether you decide to accept it or continue to search for greener pastures, you’ll arrive back on campus knowing you have at least one option. And that will help alleviate a little stress and almost certainly make you more desirable to other companies during the full-time recruiting process.