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How To Turn Your Internship Into A Job Offer

March 27, 2015

It's known that most people take an internship with the hope that the internship will turn into a long term opportunity. No matter what field you're in, you’re more than likely going to need an internship to jumpstart your career. So the question becomes: How do you turn your internship into a job interview?

Our experts weigh in with a variety of different perspectives on turning a summer internship into a lifetime career. 

Jessica from Cardinal Health offered these thoughts, “A goal of our internship program is to retain our top performing interns. These are interns who have gone “above and beyond” in their internship role and/or projects and have taken full advantage of all opportunities presented through the internship program. We find that these interns have a strong work ethic, are flexible, and have developed their leadership, communication and analytical skills. All of these characteristics are beneficial when transitioning to a full-time position.”

If you want to receive a job offer after your internship is complete, it’s vital that you treat your entire experience like one long job audition. You’re most likely competing for a position against other interns in your department. This means you will need to do whatever it takes to show your employer that you’ve not only got what it takes to be there for the long haul, but you're the person they want to work along side in future years. Stay late, ask insightful questions, be professional, and you may just secure that dream job.

An expert from Merck, Francis, gives his take on how to make this transition successfully, “First find out if there are dedicated recruiters in the company focused on transitioning interns/co-ops to full time positions. If so, these recruiters will be your best source of information about the process and expectations. At or near completion of this internship ask your Supervisor what you would need to do to be considered for full time employment, they may have good insight about next steps. Keep in regular contact with those you worked with and build your network with HR and/or Recruiters in the company. Lastly create and maintain your profile on the company's applicant tracking system and set up job opening alerts to receive regular emails about available posted opportunities.”

If an immediate opportunity doesn't arise from your internship, make sure to stay in touch with your former supervisor. You never know when a position will become available, so by keeping in touch you'll be one of the first people that supervisor thinks of and possibly recommends.

Transitioning from an intern to a full time employee can seem difficult, but the reality is it all comes down to being proactive. If you work hard, volunteer for extra assignments, and impress with your professionalism, you’ll have a good chance of earning a full time position when your internship is complete.

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