Take it from us at Dittoe PR: internships are a great way to score a full-time job. With much of our office boasting the title of former Dittoe PR intern (myself included), it’s no wonder our program is one of the top in Indianapolis.
After interning for nearly a year, I quickly recognized that internships are mutually beneficial for both parties, with interns gaining valuable professional experience, networking and building their portfolios, and employers obtaining much-needed assistance, receiving a fresh perspective, and recruiting future employees. The “trial period” an internship offers allows employers to discover how much potential a student or recent graduate has and whether they’re ready to take the next steps towards becoming a #PRpro.
If you’re looking to make your internship into a full-time job, here are a few tips to increase your chances of getting hired.
Demonstrate a strong work ethic and engage.
Between exams, parties, and friends, interns can get easily sidetracked by outside distractions, but demonstrating a strong willingness to work and to showing up on time every day goes a long way. Some interns only work to check a box in their resume or satisfy school credit, but those students are missing out on a great opportunity to turn an internship into a full-time position.
Interns should realize it is engagement, not just a strong work ethic, that can help guarantee a full-time job offer. Demonstrate your enthusiasm to learn by taking efficient notes in meetings, attending non-mandatory company outings, and going above and beyond in what you’re asked. The best interns don’t simply complete the project – they find different ways to become a valuable resource in the office.
In order to continue growing and developing a master PR skillset, interns should solicit feedback from supervisors and those they directly work with on a day-to-day basis. Seeking input will not only improve your skills, but it will prove you’re worth hiring. BONUS – it also shows you’re eager to advance.
After each completed task or project, ask your direct supervisor to sit down and discuss how you did. Find out how you can improve, or where you might have been lacking and how to make changes for the next go-around. While it might be difficult to hear constructive criticism at first, learning to seek it out will improve your interpersonal skills and show you’re thinking long-term.
Make use of downtime.
At Dittoe PR, we pride ourselves on the real client work we assign interns. No busy work or coffee runs here!
While that usually doesn’t provide for much downtime, should an intern encounter a lull in projects, it’s important they make good use of their time.
Instead of dwelling on social media or focusing on homework, interns should ask what additional projects they can help with. In this industry, it’s likely someone has a project that could use some TLC. Both the intern director and your colleagues will notice and remember that you took initiative and showed enthusiasm for the job.
Be honest about professional goals.
Let’s face the facts: no one’s a mind reader. If a full-time job offer is what you’re after in your internship, let your supervisor know.
Rather than being pushy, provide clarity about your goals. Make a point to tell them you’ve enjoyed your time at the company and would love to discuss any permanent opportunities. Even if the company can’t offer you a job, they’re more likely to keep you in mind should there be an opening.
On the flipside, if you’re looking to work in a different role post-internship, be honest about that too. Your internship supervisors serve as valuable professional references. Don’t let that opportunity slip away either.
Keep in touch.
If your internship ends before you’ve finished school, be sure to keep in touch with the company. Exchange contact information, add colleagues on LinkedIn, keep up with the company on social media, and find other ways you can stay connected. When you’re in town, consider dropping by the office or arranging a lunch to catch up with co-workers.
Also, if you say you’ll stay in touch, follow through with it. It’s not only courteous, but it will help to keep you at top-of-mind for any hiring decisions or requests for professional references.
Interested in an internship with Dittoe PR? Check out our career page here for more details.