I know this might come as a surprise, but I wasn’t always the wily veteran of the Track5Media marketing team. In fact, not even two years ago, I was sweating through my undershirt as I sat down for my first internship interview here. I know, crazy right? The man behind the viral sensation Troy Thunder was actually nervous during his intern interview? Still a senior in college, I initially was just looking for something else to put on my resume while I pursued a career in journalism, but it took less than a year to realize that I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. Similar to me, Connor Smith also made the transition from intern to full-time employee. Turning an internship into a job isn’t easy, but it can certainly be done with some hard work, focus, and the right timing.
“After joining the Track5 team in January of 2016, I was relieved to find such a unique work environment. Getting to work on a new project alongside everyone else from day one was really cool, and I quickly learned a lot about the industry,” Smith said. “After we moved to our new location I knew being a part of this growing company was the right move. Now almost two years later, we’re still going strong and I’m glad I was able to expand my internship into a career that’s constantly evolving.”
So what happened? How did we both end up turning an internship into a job?
Well, there’s no definitive answer, but I can tell you a few tips and tricks to help turn that internship into the first step towards a rewarding career. Below are just a few things to keep in mind if you want to turn your internship into a full-fledged career.
Turning an Internship Into a Job
It sounds like a no-brainer, right? If you’re interning somewhere, you’re supposed to be interested in what you’re working on. Sadly, many interns choose to go through the motions and see the experience as just another step in the never-ending journey towards a career. One of the biggest things I learned while turning an internship into a job is to always ask questions. While you might feel too timid or feel like you’re bugging your manager, they will actually welcome the interest in the company. Ask about the future of the company and where they plan to go. Showing interest in what the company is trying to accomplish shows that you want to have a helping hand in growing the company.
“Ask questions because people would rather know you’re looking for answers instead of ignoring problems,” says Smith.
I truly think the biggest reason that I was able to turn my internship into a job was my willingness to be flexible. If you’re working on a marketing team (or any team for that matter) you’re going to be asked to work together and help your team members out. Whether it was writing more content for our blogs, doing some research for competitors, or even tackling a brand-new area of expertise that I knew nothing about (like SEO) I was always willing to put my best effort into it. I could keep the team working like a well-oiled machine.
Finally, I think the biggest thing I learned during my transition from an intern to a full-time employee was to speak up about an interest in continuing a career where you are interning. Initially, I was hired to intern during the spring, but after enjoying my time that semester, I quickly asked my manager at the time if they would be willing to keep me through the end of my schooling in the winter. Luckily, they were pleased with my work so far so I was able to remain with the company until graduation. Then, a few weeks before graduation I expressed interest in coming on as a full-time employee. After another interview, I landed the job! I think a big reason that I landed the job wasn’t just the work I produced, but the fact that I spoke up and expressed interest in remaining with the company.