By Danielle Lomax
Every summer, thousands of college students trade in their textbooks for briefcases and portfolios. Summer internships are a great way to introduce you to life after college. You’ve already worked hard to get the internship offer, but what’s most important is turning your internship into a full-time career. Although they can be quite daunting, we have provided 3 helpful tips to make sure that you get the offer (GTO)!
1. Look the Part
Always remember that it’s better to be overdressed than underdressed. During the first week I make a mental note of how my superiors are dressed. Is my manager in casual, business casual or business professional?
How casual is casual Friday? Although it may seem simple, something as little as attire can set you apart from the other interns. First impressions are lasting impressions.
2. Network With a Strategy
Ask for an organizational chart of your company or department. Take note of hiring managers and college recruiters. After updating my LinkedIn profile I look for employees who share interests similar to mine (alma mater, greek organization, hometown etc…) Also ask your manager who are the key leaders and influencers in the organization. Throughout the summer set up informational interviews, coffee breaks and lunch dates with these influencers. During your interview inform everyone of your career aspirations and how you plan to use your internship to make an impact. I usually bring up our commonalities to ease the tension or serve as an icebreaker. Think of these interviews as professional speed-dating. They’re also a great way to keep your name on the radar for future opportunities. (Hint: Most people will offer to treat you to lunch!)
At the end of my internship I usually send a thank-you note to my boss and hiring manager. But, don’t stop there. Throughout the year send emails to all of the contacts that you made during your internship. Let your network know what you’re up to. If I’ve been elected to an executive position of an organization, attended a conference or participated in a case competition, I always remember to let them know. This will add a personal touch and it will ensure that you aren’t simply using your contacts for a job opportunity.