Mentor Mentacular: Menternship, Intorship– How to Maximize Your New Colleagues|
The internship, post-grad style: rock your summer-long job interview
Congrats, grad: you’re starting the summer off right with an internship, but a full-time job is still front-of-mind. By creating a good relationship with your supervisors, being open and up front about your goals, and knowing your strengths within the organization, you can differentiate yourself and keep moving forward with your job search.
Be open and honest from the start
Creating strong professional relationships will be essential this summer. It’s likely that your supervisor has an idea that you’re looking for full-time work, but you should establish that fact with an open conversation. Set up some time to talk about your goals. Communicate that accomplishing the objectives of the internship will be your focus, but you’re also interested in job opportunities. In turn, your supervisor now has valuable information and will be able to advocate for you throughout the summer.
Go above and beyond, but not over the top
There is a happy medium between trying and trying too hard. You should be going above and beyond your internship job description, but you need to do so in a way that complements your strengths. This is a good time to examine the personalities of your teammates and the organization’s culture (the old, “you’re interviewing me, I’m interviewing you” mentality). Ask yourself why you would thrive in this place, and find a way to show that part of yourself to the team through your work. Is there a niche to fill as the office social media expert? Does the office newsletter need a proofreader or columnist? Even gestures as simple as being on time every day or your willingness to complete a tedious task are gestures of respect for your team
Organize the office “speed networking” event
Looking for a way to differentiate yourself that will be beneficial to you and your fellow interns? At an organization where I interned, we spent a day meeting with ten people in different departments and in different roles. We spent twenty minutes with them talking about their path and learning about their corner of the professional world. It was a great way to make a contact and see the organization from a different part of the office.
Harness the power of your supervisor’s Rolodex
There are plenty of reasons why you may not end up with a full-time offer, many of which may have nothing to do with your performance as an intern. If your organization can’t hire you, they might be able to introduce you to their contacts and partners or keep you in mind for future opportunities. It might not be the advocacy you planned for, but it is proof that your supervisor believes in your potential and some great momentum to continue on the job hunt.
Jenny Howard is a development professional and a proud University of Michigan graduate. Follow her on Twitter @jennifhow.
What’s the best internship connection you’ve made in your career? Comment below or head over to the Levo Lounge to chat it up!