7 Internship Tips to Grab a Full-Time Offer
Being curious at all times and attempting to put new skills into practice are amazing qualities to portray as an intern.
Internships are one of the most important stepping stones in someone’s career. Despite having a short duration of 3-6 months, they are absolutely critical for your career growth and trajectory.
After you’ve completed your education or are almost on the verge of completing it, internships act as a bridge between theoretical learning and industry practice. An opportunity to learn to turn your paper skills into hard skills and start playing in the big leagues.
They serve multifold purposes for both parties involved. Companies like Google, Microsoft, and Amazon have internship programs in place to test, prepare, and assess the individual’s ability. Similarly, a lot of companies hire freshers from college as interns to examine if they’d be the best fit for the organization, before extending the full-time contract.
But it need not be a one-sided affair. If you’re an intern, it’s also an opportunity for you to learn, grow, and examine if the company’s culture suits you and if there’s enough scope for growth or not.
In 1984, Nevada Senator Paul Laxalt gave me the opportunity of a lifetime to serve as a legislative intern in his office in Washington, D.C. Coming from humble beginnings, the experience changed my life and charted me on a path of public service. ~ Brian Sandoval
These are the words of Brian Edward Sandoval, who later went on to become a federal judge, and the governor of Nevada. Even the likes of Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, and many other stalwarts from various industries started out their careers as interns.
But of course, in most cases, your goal is to move one step ahead and bag that full-time role if you happen to like the company. And not all interns are able to do that.
Here’s another chart representing the internship conversion rate for the 2016-21 period:
As you can see, about 34% of interns were not able to convert their internship for some reason or the other.
Evidently, a lot of things are going on during one’s internship period. Candidates can also get overwhelmed with the new experience and make mistakes, try to outperform themselves, or put too much effort into one place without balancing out the other areas. As a result, they might just miss out on precious opportunities and may have to wait longer to step foot officially in the industry.
To avoid all of this and to strengthen your chances of getting that full-time contract at your preferred pay, we’ve curated a list of 7 things to keep in mind while interning for a company. Focusing on these 7 areas will surely help you get to the next level from where you can kickstart your dream career. Let’s get started:
1. Build Credibility
If your team doesn't believe in you, they won't give you important projects. Without quality assignments, you won't have as many chances to demonstrate your special talents and the contributions you can make to the company, which will make it more challenging for you to convince your manager that you deserve a full-time position.
Developing such trust is made simple by proving your credibility.
How to build credibility at work?
- Begin with being on time. You can make a modest change that will have a significant effect on how other people see you. If a meeting is scheduled to begin at 10:00 am during your internship, try to arrive at the location/online by 9:50 am. Being on time shows that you are dedicated and sincere.
- Being too informal and unprofessional is the biggest turnoff for an employer.
- Take ownership of your work and delivering results within deadlines. That way your manager knows that you can be trusted with important time-bound projects in the future and they can rely on you.
- If you’re not able to understand the task at hand, be proactive in communication. Remember, you’re representing an organization where tasks are interdependent on each other. If you don’t communicate, it may just cause a domino effect of fallout.
2. Show that you’re the best fit
Make sure you have done your homework on the organization, its mission, and its principles before beginning your internship. You will be better able to support its objectives if you are aware of these aspects. Read reviews of the company that discuss its environment or culture, if you can.
Being aware of the personalities or working methods of the people around you will help you feel more at ease. Then, you can determine whether you already fit in or if you need to adjust and improve.
Understanding the company’s objectives can also help you to garner fresh ideas which you can present in team meetings. This will show that you’re ready to put in the extra effort and are dedicated to the company’s growth and subsequently your own growth.
You might think it’s just an internship after all. "Do I really need to put that much effort?"
But the reality is that your extra effort shows your passion for your work and a high-growth mindset, both of which go a long way in deciding your career trajectory.
3. Establish good relationships within the team
Get to know the duties of the position as well as what your supervisor expects from you. Try to go above and beyond what they expect as you work to establish your value as a team player. Additionally, you should build solid relationships through regular check-ins and updates on the status of your initiatives and any successes you have had.
An internship is not meant to be simple. Instead of avoiding a task, put your best foot forward and embrace it with full commitment and positivity.
When given the opportunity to review your performance with your supervisor, always use their feedback to help you improve. You might be shocked by what they think are your greatest assets!
If you disagree with your manager, take the time to think things through rather than act in the heat of the moment.
How to build bonding with team?
- Be respectful: Treat your team members with respect and professionalism. This includes being punctual, following through on commitments, and avoiding gossip or negative talk.
- Be a team player: Be willing to collaborate and work well with others. This includes offering help when needed and being open to constructive criticism.
- Be open to feedback: Be open and receptive to feedback from your team members. This will help you improve your skills and build trust with your colleagues.
- Show initiative: Take the initiative to get to know your team members on a personal level. This could include going out for lunch or coffee or asking about their hobbies and interests.
- Show appreciation: Show your appreciation and gratitude for your team members' efforts. Acknowledge their contributions and give credit where credit is due.
Building good relationships will pay out in one way or another. Even if the company is not immediately ready to move forward with you, the connections you have built will surely keep you on their radar and might just refer you to some other company.
4. Demonstrate Flexibility
You may think of an internship as being conducted under a microscope. Each task assigned to you isn’t just a task but a metric for measuring your worth as well. And, in that scenario, a supervisor loves to see an intern's aptitude for learning and adaptability.
Although as a recent graduate, you may not be the best and most experienced employee, if you have promise and a willingness to learn, the firm will undoubtedly give some thought to hiring you after the internship.
Your "comfort zone" will be tested, and you may be asked to do extra work that you were not expecting. Keep in mind that each new work experience is a stepping stone in your career. Although you may not be doing exactly what you desire professionally, your internship will serve as a springboard to your next great adventure.
Above all, avoid saying you "cannot" do something at all costs. It is always okay to seek direction or assistance, but rejecting your capacity to finish a task may cost you respect and future opportunities.
The ability of an intern to operate in various settings is another quality that attracts a supervisor. For this, you can be shifted about among other departments to test your adaptability. Being curious at all times and attempting to put new skills into practice are amazing qualities to portray as an intern.
5. Take initiative
By taking the initiative to look for professional growth possibilities at the organization, you can set yourself apart as an intern. Inform your boss that you are interested in acquiring knowledge that will enable you to carry out your job duties. They might begin giving you assignments to practice such abilities or instructing you to see someone else do them.
Take on additional responsibilities: Do you have a fresh idea that is actually out of your work domain? Pitch it to your manager or in team meetings. Take ownership of your idea, take inputs from your seniors, execute the idea, and show results.
This could include taking on a project that no one else is working on or suggesting new ideas to improve the company's processes.
Be proactive: Don't wait for tasks to be assigned, actively look for ways to contribute and make an impact. This will show that you are proactive and self-motivated.
Learn new things on the side: Internship first and foremost is a learning graph for you. Take advantage of the opportunity to learn new tools and technologies in your free time. Learn how to better automate your work, how to better suit your team’s requirements, and how to leverage new tools to ease the processes, something that your team members might not be aware of.
Your initiative demonstrates that you are prepared to join the team full-time. Supervisors will notice how committed you are to the business and how eager you are to work on your personal growth in order to support its objectives. They will feel more certain as a result.
In most cases, it’s the less enthusiastic, self-limiting interns that are unable to make it to the finish line.
6. Build a network
When you were in college, you might have done well being a lone wolf, depending solely on your own actions and your professor. That approach just wouldn’t work in the workplace. You’ll need to familiarize yourself with people from other teams as well.
You might end up reporting to one of your current coworkers and working with even more people across the company if your internship does result in a full-time offer. Maybe a few years from now, you'll be in charge of managing some of the people you met during your internship.
Attend company events and industry conferences to make connections with your colleagues, supervisors, and other professionals in the tech industry.
Indulge in meaningful conversations in groups be it about any new technology, startups, sports, or other ideas. Make your presence felt.
How to create good workplace connections?
- Extend every offer of assistance to your coworkers. Make yourself indispensable to their everyday operations.
- Make good use of the lunch and coffee breaks. Even though everything is online now, this is still possible. Reach out to different team members throughout your first week and see if they have time for a quick one-on-one. Inform them that you are interested in learning more about the job they perform and bring a few questions with you.
- If your team uses Slack, you can also start a conversation by requesting book or television show recommendations or by posting an intriguing article or video.
Not only will it benefit your professional growth, but it will also increase the enjoyment of your internship.
Even if you’re a college intern and you’re not looking for a full-time offer at the moment, make effort to stay in touch with your connections.
We often hear from interns that they don't know what to say to remain connected. One idea is to stay up to date on current news and congratulate or comment on the news to your previous employer. Even a little bit of effort like dropping an insightful comment on their LinkedIn post or politely giving a product review on DMs can go a long way in building relations for life.
That way your candidature will strike their minds first if so the need arises, and you can get a placement opportunity on or before graduation.
7. Express interest to be a full-time employee
No, it doesn’t show desperation if you’re looking out for a full-time opportunity with the company you are interning with. It just shows that you’re truly interested in contributing to the company’s growth with your time and skills.
Draft all your BAUs, other contributions, accomplishments, and results, in one place. Describe your overall experience and the things you got to learn from this opportunity.
Express your interest to your HR or your hiring manager about full-time employment with the company, even before the internship ends. Again take initiative and show how you plan to make a positive impact and expand your domain in the upcoming months.
Again, you might not get to do the exact things according to your plan but it’ll tell them that you have a far-sighted approach and you can take ownership of your work, and it will all pay off if they have a full-time opportunity or even if it arises in the future.
We hope you follow these steps if you’re currently in a tech internship, and you’ll surely see the results. These steps might look really simple but it’s the simple things, it’s the little efforts, and the attention to detail that takes you ahead in your career and life. It’s these steps that create a lasting impression on others in the industry which compounds over time, and are often the difference between an achiever and an average joe out there.
Now, if you’re still a college student reading this article and you’re looking out for internship opportunities in top tech companies, we have just the right news for you. Prepleaf (in association with Masai) is offering the Scholar Program for 1st, 2nd, and pre-final year students where you get to build your foundational coding skills and set yourself up for success in the tech industry with real-world practical knowledge.
On the back of the program, you can get internships in top companies like Uber, Dunzo, ShareChat, and Dream11 up to INR 60,000.
We’re also offering the Career Accelerator Program where college students will learn software development part-time in parallel with their college degree and will be able to get a minimum package of INR 5 LPA post-course completion. If not, they get the full refund, no questions asked.