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Building success as an intern

Going from intern to full-time in no time

There are two kinds of interns: the ones companies want to keep, and the ones they kinda wish they never hired. Hopefully, you want to be the former. You can turn your internship into a full-time job if you work it just right, like so:

Come out and say it

Your internship employer may know you’d love a full-time position when the internship is over. Or she may have no idea. It never hurts to spell it out for them.

Take the long view

From Day One of your internship, if it’s a full-time position in your mind, act that way. Learn the organization’s culture as quickly as you can, and start adding your own contributions. Stay cheery, too – you’ll make the place more pleasant, which benefits everybody, plus employers are watching to see how you handle non-cheery things like criticism and setbacks.

Form alliances

Don’t want to get voted off the island? Show why you’re indispensable, and make sure you’re abiding by all the written and unwritten rules. Unsure? Ask questions of folks who are good at it. Watch the company’s top managers doing their thing, if you can, and model your basic etiquette after that.

Get graded

Don’t be afraid to ask for feedback on how you're doing so far. Most people will be happy to suggest ways you can improve, and those suggestions are usually right on the money.

Keep in touch

When the internship is over, it doesn’t mean you have stop knowing everybody. Try to stay in contact, however they’d prefer (email, the occasional phone call, bimonthly lunches, whatever) with the ones you connected with. That might be your supervisor, the person who trained you, an inspirational mentor, other interns…whoever.

Need tips on networking? Check out the slew of articles we just happen to have on the subject.

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