Intern Power! How to Turn Your Internship Into a Job

Your summer internship may be over, but your career is just beginning. If your internship experience was a positive one, you're probably looking for more than a send-off luncheon and a fond farewell. Position yourself for career success with these tips for turning your internship into a full-time job.

Be proactive in your career development.

Take charge of your own career development; no one else can do that for you. Ask to have lunch with as many employees and managers as you can in order to learn from them and build relationships. And seek out a mentor. Your active involvement in your internship program and your strong sense of the company's culture and values will help managers see you as a prospect who is not likely to quit after a few short months.

Demonstrate a team-player attitude.

Be humble and flexible, no matter what the task. In other words, don't act as if making copies is beneath you. Instead, be conscientious in even the smallest duties, and you will prove that you can be entrusted with greater and greater responsibilities in the internship program. And don't be afraid to ask questions; you don't have to know it all. When you assert your capability and desire to learn and grow, your genuine interest in the company will capture attention.

Take advantage of after-work opportunities.

Your free moments are precious, but taking time outside of your internship to participate in company activities will pay dividends in the end. You might decide to attend an industry networking event, volunteer at a corporate charity, or just be an enthusiastic participant in the company's social functions. Aligning your personal interests with the company's interests highlights your true dedication to the company.

Finish well.

It may be tempting to spend the last few weeks of your internship coasting, since your mind is drifting to other upcoming responsibilities. But if you've got one foot out the door, your complacent attitude will not go unnoticed. Instead, use the final days of the internship program to showcase the unique skills you've acquired at the company. Confirm that you're a better worker than when you started.

Ultimately, candidates sending unsolicited resumes have nothing on you. From your position on the inside, you can market your skill set, talents, and team-player attitude to the powers-that-be. And when you exhibit your commitment to the company from the first day of your internship through your last, your name will be uppermost in managers' minds when it comes time to hire.