How to Turn An Internship Into a Full-Time Job After Graduation

By Joyce Huber

Internships are temporary job training programs for students who are attending colleges and universities. Some internships are for college credit only, while others offer a salary or stipend. There are many benefits to completing an internship, one of which is improving your opportunities of finding a full-time job after graduating from college.


Internships should be taken seriously. Whether or not you receive pay, you will be working for an employer who will will expect your best performance. Students benefit from an internship because they are able to "test drive" their career to see if it is a good fit for them. Employers like interns because college students are coming from a fresh learning environment and are eager to gain experience in their field and learn more about the field they have chosen.

Many companies look for interns they can train during a 3-4 month internship and then hire after they graduate. Employers see this as a benefit because students who complete a successful internship will require less training when they are hired on as full-time employees. There are no guarantees of being hired after completion of an internship, but there are certainly many ways to increase your chances of being hired if you play your cards right throughout the internship.


According to Forbes, 60 percent of internships turn into an offer for a full-time job. But, as expected, these offers are limited and very competitive. The key to being one of the interns who gets the job is to treat the internship like it was already a full-time job. Here are some tips on what you need to do to increase your chances of getting a job offer after completing an internship.

Choose an internship wisely
Forbes reports that paid internships are often better because paid interns "spend more time getting hands-on experience, as opposed to handling clerical tasks." Clerical work is not going to train students for the job. Hands-on experience in areas such as analysis, project management and other professional tasks is not only good training but also a great opportunity to show employers what you can do.

Be professional
Treat the internship like it was your first real job. Be professional and dress professionally at all times. You never know who will be watching you but you can be certain that you will be observed. Employers want to know that you not only have the skills but also the maturity to handle the job.

Develop a strong work ethic
Just because you are an intern doesn't mean the job isn't real. Most large professional organizations give interns real projects to work on, projects that are important to the company's business and bottom line. This should never be treated lightly. It doesn't matter if the job is paid or unpaid; if you want to turn your internship into a full-time job, you need to work at it!

Be a team player
When applying for an internship, most employers indicate in the internship requirements that candidates "be able to interact well with others," or "be willing to work independently as well as on teams." Team work is extremely important in any company and the way in which things get accomplished. You may be a straight A student, but be willing to share ideas with and learn from others. Remember, all interns are bring various work skills and idea to the table.

Be willing to learn
As a college student, interns are learning cutting-edge skills in college but still lack experience. Be willing to learn on the job from other experienced company managers and experts. Ask questions and show a continued interest in learning as much as you can about your field.

Even if a company hiring interns does not specifically indicate the possibility of being hired after graduation, the possibility always exists. So, treat your internship like one, long interview. Do your very best and your internship could very well turn into your dream job.

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