How to Turn Your Internship Into a Job

by Clara Butler

As May quickly approaches, questions of, “What are you doing after this?” have become a weekly occurrence, if not a daily one for me and my fellow members of the Class of 2016. And if you’re not a consulting or finance person, that question probably stirs up a lot of anxiety and panic for you since finding a job for May is basically our generation’s Hunger Games. Well fear not seniors, here’s how to turn that previous internship you had into a full time job.

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We would like jobs please and thank you
  1. Find an internship that says it will lead to a job

Okay, so this is kind of cheating but if you see a listing for an internship that explicitly says that there’s a chance of full time employment afterwards, APPLY! I’m not going to lie to you reader, this is exactly how I got my post-grad job since when I was interviewing for the internship, they told me that the summer was basically going to be an “11 week interview process” for a full time job for the following summer. But if your past internship was nothing like this, keep reading.

2. Stay in touch with former colleagues

Another pretty basic tip but it’s so important! Even if it’s just endorsing someone on LinkedIn from time to time or sending a short email to your former boss asking how they are doing, keeping in touch with contacts from the place you interned is crucial in getting a job there post-grad. If the person that you worked with or the person that hired you remembers you through this outreach and if you even tell them that you are looking for a full time job and would love to come back, chances are your former colleagues are going to want to help you. It’s super hard asking for help, but if you kicked ass at your internship they will definitely want you full time.

  1. Create your own job

Okay, so say that the previous company you worked at doesn’t have any openings. Do not despair, because there are other options. One of these is creating your own position. Although this sounds difficult, it really isn’t. All you need to do is identify a position that is missing within the company and then pitch yourself for the job. For example, when I did a social media internship a few years back, it was clear that they needed someone full time to do social media or to at least develop strategy moving forward so it wasn’t all dependent on one intern. Eventually, the company created a position for a social media manager and a social media content editor, positions that I knew were needed and could have pitched myself for. Also if you do point out what a company is missing, oftentimes they will agree with you and appreciate that you are keen enough to see what’s working and what’s not.

  1. Make yourself indispensable

So, you’re a Barnard student and because all Barnard women are strong and bold and beautiful, you probably did amazing at your last internship. If you are still there, make sure that your boss knows how well you’re doing and always go above and beyond. If you make yourself indispensable to the company by consistently going above the requirements of your job, they won’t want to hire anyone else. But making yourself indispensable can also mean that you make sure you are fully embedded in the company culture. Get to know your coworkers, go to happy hour, and as silly as it sounds, make sure that they would miss you if you left! If HR hears from your whole department about how well you did and how much they are going to miss you, it builds a better case for hiring you full time.

  1. Don’t be afraid to keep doing internships

This might sound scary but it is totally fine to do an internship after graduation and keep doing them until it leads to something full time. I know plenty of graduated Barnard women that did just this and they ended up at great jobs months later. Finding a full time job in May is a daunting task because every college in Manhattan (and the nation for that matter) is turning out thousands of qualified grads that all want the same thing. If you can’t take an unpaid internship post-grad, it’s also totally fine to work a job that pays you but isn’t necessarily your dream career. You never know, it might just give you the opportunity that you were looking for from the start.

Clara Butler is a senior at Barnard and the Senior Editor for the Nine Ways of Knowing.

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