By: Prossy Nyafono
It is that time again when universities send out their students to organizations to gain experience. If you take your time to search for the right company, your internship could lead to a short time contract or a full time job. It begins with finding the right place, making a good impression with your work station, work ethics, attitude, communication and dress code.
Your every move is being scrutinized; what you do and say is being watched. To keep your post after internship, here are a few steps to follow.
1. Choose the right internship:
Large organizations have many employees and so usually interns are given little to do and won’t be needed thereafter. So when looking for placement, I advise that you look for a smaller organization where your skills are likely to be required. Take on considerable work so that your presence is appreciated. Volunteer where you can and avail yourself for extra work where you can.
2. Be professional at work
If you want to get hired, you should follow the company’s regulations such as the dress code, meeting attendance, office hours and more. Treat everyone you meet with respect and professionalism. Leave your personal life at home, and don’t spend company time chatting away with your friends on social media.
Give the company a reason to keep you. Work hard at your assignments and be willing to learn how this company does it’s work. Avoid comparisons or bringing in what you studied at school when it’s not required. Bosses love creative people, do your best.
3. Develop a professional relationship with your supervisor:
Your immediate supervisor is the person to recommend that the company retains you; be at your best with your work. Once you have identified your job responsibilities and understood your supervisor’s expectations, work hard to demonstrate your personal initiative and your ability to work independently or as part of the team. Be sure s/he is updated about your work by writing weekly reports. Check with them on whether you are doing the job right.
4. Network and stay in touch
Being an intern doesn’t mean you should only hang around your peers. Engage with your full-time colleagues appropriately. Internship as an opportunity to learn from the staff about the company and their careers.You may need them as references or to recommend you to their bosses to keep you. Attend company activities if you are allowed.
Before internship ends, get your colleagues’ contact information and remind them to give you a call if something comes up. If you performed well during the 2 months, they’ll think of you when a job opens up.
5. Express Your Interest in Working for the Company
If you want to work at the company, say so. Don’t assume they know that. Your supervisor should know what you want and see you working towards that. Even though there may not be any current positions, your supervisor is likely to contact you when a position opens.
6. Set goals for yourself.
Within the first week of your internship, make an appointment with your manager to establish goals. Discuss projects you would like to get involved in and the skills you hope to gain over your internship. Always have a positive attitude about the work, remember you want to stay. Not every task you’re going to do enjoyable but do it anyway because it is a step to your career.
To achieve your goals, you might need to join a professional association in your career. These associations offer students an excellent opportunity to meet people working in the field. You will find out more about available opportunities in the field.
7. Be assertive.
Learn as much as possible by staying busy with projects and volunteering for assignments. Don’t overstretch yourself, but offer your time of you can. Watching the clock for the exit time does not speak well of you. If permitted, explore other parts of the company to learn more about the company.
Being assertive however does not mean pretending to know so much about everything; that will cost you a job. Be willing to learn by asking appropriate questions but know when and who to ask and not too many or you will be branded the nosy intern.
8. Identify Issues not being addressed by the Organization
Every employer wants a smart person who can identify a problem and a solution for it. While on internship, come up with ideas to make the place better. Your communication skills will come in handy here; communicate respectively and to the right person. If you are given the opportunity to make a change, exploit the opportunity.
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