Awesome! You’re lucky enough to be among the millions of eager designers who are furthering their graphic design education this summer with an internship. But don’t think of it as just a chance to get a little experience and maybe a couple of after-work happy hours. With the right moves, you could turn your internship into a full time gig.
So here are some tips to impress the boss, make a name for yourself, and work toward the salaried life:
1. Act the part.
Be on time. Be on time. Be on time. This can’t be stressed enough. No one wants to hear your excuses, just get there when you’re supposed to. While you’re at it, show up in office-appropriate attire. You can take cues from other staffers, but it’s important to dress for the job you want, not the one you have.
And whatever you do, don’t come in hung over.
2. Be assertive.
Don’t hide in your cube and play on Facebook all day. Get involved! Ask anyone and everyone if you can pitch in. See if you can sit in on brainstorming sessions or shadow a senior designer for a day. Make it your business to learn the business inside out.
3. Leverage HR.
These are most likely the people that helped bring you on board. So use HR to your advantage; get advice on your resume and portfolio, see if they can get you into company training courses, and generally do what you can to stay on their good side.
4. Make connections.
It’s just good old common sense to try and get involved in the company culture. Make friends, meet mentors, and add to the list of people who can give you good recommendations.
5. Um, just ask!
Sometimes all it takes is a simple question–are there any full time positions available? Make it known that you like the company and would really like to stay.
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