By Kirsten Chase
The hard part of your summer is nearly over: you secured a competitive internship, gained new technical and communication skills through your projects, established meaningful connections with your co-workers and completed your final wrap-up presentation. So, what should be your next move? Set-up a final exit interview with your manager to express your interest in returning? Or, send out LinkedIn requests and immediately start looking for your next position?
If you find that you’re enjoying your internship and the culture of your company and would want to return in the future, there are several ways to make yourself stand out and secure a return offer.
Make your intentions known.
It should be clear within the first few weeks if you can see yourself working at a company full-time and agree with their mission. Set up a meeting with your supervisor and clearly express your goal to return, and how you can best perform to reach that goal. In addition, set up a meeting with a representative in human resources and share your intent with them. They’ll be the first to know about new job postings, and keep you in mind.
Show your supervisor your work ethic and engagement.
No matter how large or small the project, enthusiasm and proactiveness are key. Step up and ask for more responsibility and always ask for feedback. Attend informational sessions and keep an open mind as you navigate all your internship has to offer. Others will notice and also appreciate your genuine interest in the company.
Identify areas of interest.
Internships are great ways to evaluate what interests you the most within a specific company, and can solidify your potential career path. It can also help you build your personal brand as you begin professionally marketing yourself. Do you enjoy doing research or analyzing data? Do you enjoy working with the media? Finding out which roles excite you will help you better articulate what team you would want to be placed on in the future.
Often, students find that stepping outside their comfort zone and expressing interest in returning can be a scary thought. But, companies will not magically assume that you want to come back, even if that’s your intention. Express your enthusiasm at every step of the internship and remain eager for new opportunities. “I know sometimes it’s a bit tough because there can be so much going on—and it can be intimidating to ask for help—but it’s a very valuable skill set to have,” says Muse Full-Stack Engineer, Shlomo Dalezman.
Find your advocates.
Lauren Berger, CEO of InternQueen.com said, “At many companies, the internship program is essentially a six- to eight-week long job interview.” It’s important to seek out relationships with mentors throughout the company who will advocate for you later on. When it comes down to which intern the boss should hire, your work relationships will come in handy.
Using these tips to assist you will help set you apart from other interns and demonstrate your intent to return to a company you love. The relationships you build will play a key role in helping you ask for what you want, and securing a position you’ve always dreamed of.