Joining the workforce as an intern is a great way to gain experience in your chosen career field. Internships can allow you to try on multiple hats if you are still unsure about which field you’d like to go into. Even if you are set on a field, internships can allow you to sharpen your skills before committing to a career path.
Although internships may seem like a simple foot-in-the-door, the current job market can be daunting for recent graduates, as expectations have risen to years of experience for entry-level positions. Following my graduation from college last year, I remember seeing hundreds of applicants on the majority of the job postings I applied to.
Fortunately, once you have landed an internship, the odds are in your favor as interns have strong chances of being hired after their internship ends.
To increase your chances of converting to a full-time employee, you need to exceed expectations and leave a positive impact on the people you encounter during your internship. If receiving a full-time offer is your goal, be intentional with your time and exemplify your strong work ethic.
Shortly after I began my internship here at Quantcast, I knew this was the place I wanted to start my post-college career. With some perseverance and determination, I was able to land a full-time position once my internship came to a close. Here are some tips that helped me convert from intern to full-time:
1. Ask questions
It can be hard to take the initiative to raise your hand and ask questions, especially when you are the youngest or least-experienced in the room. However, learning is the most fundamental part of an internship, so it is important to ask thoughtful and meaningful questions. As an intern, your coworkers will expect you to ask for help, so use this opportunity to build your confidence at work and make connections with other employees while doing so.
2. Pay attention to detail
By being detail-oriented, you can show your manager and team that you’re willing to put the time in to produce high-quality work. You can go the extra mile by being punctual, double-checking your work, and staying on top of deadlines. This will also show your colleagues that you are someone they can count on, and that you will reach and exceed their expectations. I’ve found the best way for me to stay focused is to use a checklist and set realistic deadlines.
3. Challenge yourself
An internship is the perfect time to try new things and prove your strengths. In my case, I seized every opportunity to explore my graphic design skills and writing capabilities. This is important for building confidence, and also demonstrates to your team that you are dedicated to your growth at the company.
4. Build relationships
If your job is in person, you should take advantage of all the events and bonding opportunities offered to you. It is important to make connections with people both inside and outside of your team. During my time as an intern, I made sure to talk to engineers, and found it fascinating to learn about our company’s products on a deeper level. Through making a variety of connections, I began to feel more comfortable at work after cultivating my community.
5. Communicate your goals
This is arguably the most important step in landing your full-time offer. At the beginning of your internship, you should ask your manager to map out their expectations for you if they haven’t already. During one-on-one meetings with your manager, be sure to speak up about your goals and what kind of projects you’d like to tackle. When the timing is appropriate, don’t be afraid to establish your intent to stay at the company long-term. By having open communication with your manager, you can set yourself up for success.
In my experience, I expressed my intent to stay at the company to a variety of individuals on my team. By following all of these tips, I was able to become an integral part of the team at Quantcast. This resulted in a warm welcome from the team, and allowed my coworkers to vouch for abilities across the projects I worked on with them when it came time for my conversion to full-time.
Read this blog post by our senior software engineer to get another perspective on transitioning from intern to full-time employee at Quantcast. If you want to keep challenging yourself to grow professionally within your organization, read our 6 Tips for Career Development.