In today's competitive job environment, landing internships is just the beginning of the battle. The real pay-off is to be able to convert the opportunity into a full-time job offer.
Employers view these 8-12 week internships as a way to size up potential employees in real workplace situations before going ahead and making a final offer. And despite the hard work they may have put in, not all interns make the cut. So, if you want to go into final placements brandishing a full-time job offer in hand, you need to stretch yourself and go that extra mile. Hard work, professionalism, enthusiasm and networking can help you stand out in a pool of interns who are all after the same thing.
So how do you go about it?
1. Do more: It's not just about confining oneself to the defined project brief; employers value those who go above and beyond their internship description. Interns need to demonstrate initiative and think out-of-the box. Interns need to extend themselves beyond their project scope, learn more about the way their business functions and gain cross-functional exposure.
2. Network, network, network: The relationships you build are critical, so get to know as many of the people you work with as possible, attend company events and socialise with them after work as well. The more people who know you and your work, the more people you will have in your corner when it comes to the crunch.
3. Be enthusiastic, go all out: Enthusiasm and willingness to learn rate high on every recruiter's list. The first thing a company expects in an intern is a ready-to-do-anything attitude. As these students are still in the midst of their curriculum, companies don't expect them to be at par with the existing employees. However, an intern is expected to learn and deliver in a short time. New ideas are welcomed and the key thing a company values in an intern is their professional attitude and the art of meeting deadlines
4. Don't be afraid to ask questions or reach out for help: Interns should be open, engage with stakeholders, ask questions and proactively take help from team members to produce quality output.
5. Balance academic performance with a well - rounded personality: Interns who are well-rounded, achievement-oriented, keen learners, team players, self-driven and passionate to make a real difference. Employers typically look for a good personality, good communication skills, aptitude for rational thinking, relevant experience (if any), problem-solving, innovative thinking, communication and presence.
6. Understanding the don'ts: Displaying unprofessional behavior, showing insubordination to project guides/ senior managers, breaching client confidentiality or violating the company's code of conduct are strict no no’s. So is being secretive, dishonest and unfair while complaining about the work or the comparison of one's manager or one's work with another intern's is also discouraged. What also tilts the scales against the candidates is not demonstrating enough effort, staying reserved or confining themselves to a particular team
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