Internships provide a great opportunity to gain commercial experience and learn new skills. Participants who stand out and display a genuine capacity for a role may be able to turn their interning experience into a job offer.
Many large companies in the UK, including Michael Page International, organize summer internship programmes. And while no company can guarantee a job offer at the end of that time, it’s not uncommon for exceptional interns to be offered the opportunity to return in a full-time role.
With more than 35 years’ experience in recruitment, Michael Page understands what makes a good intern stand out from the rest of the field.
Here are some of the key ways to improve your chances of landing a job offer at the end of your internship:
Ask questions – Employers like to see interns who are engaged and eager to learn. Always ask questions about areas of the business which you don’t understand. Remember, the more you learn about the company the easier it will be to assess how you might fit in on a more permanent basis.
Set goals – Outline your goals and the skills you’d like to acquire to your direct manager during the first week of your internship. You should also communicate your aims and establish early on what the company’s expectations are of you.
Work hard – A no-brainer really, but one that requires you to show initiative in the workplace at all times. Spend time finding out how company software and in-house systems work. Try to anticipate what you could do next and ask for more work when you find you’re coming to the end of a particular assignment.
Be professional – Always dress the way you’d like to be perceived in the workplace, and adhere to the company’s dress code. Observe official office hours, arrive early if you can and leave no sooner than other staff members leave.
Get to know everyone – Make efforts to meet and greet everyone from the doorman to the CEO. A good first impression can go a long way for an intern. Always be respectful and never engage in office politics or water-cooler gossip.
Research the company – Find out all you can about the company before you start. It will give you a distinct advantage in understanding the business and nature of specific projects when they arise. You should also try to find out if the company has a record in keeping interns on.
Be positive – Always appear enthusiastic regardless of how menial the work appears. Ask to be included in meetings and always strive to be helpful to your co-workers.
- Learn from others – Find co-workers who enjoy imparting their professional knowledge to you and impress upon everyone that you’re there, hopefully for the long-haul, to enhance their team and their work efforts.
While Michael Page does not organise external internships for candidates, you can find out more about our Summer Internship programme here.