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Professionals talk tips on turning internships into full-time jobs

Professionals talk tips on turning internships into full-time jobs
Canva illustration by Chloe Wilson-Henline

About 58% of interns converted to full-time employees in 2022, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers 2023 Internship and Co-op report.

Turning an internship into a full-time job is achievable, according to Public Relations Internship Coordinator Stefanie Moore, but professionals have tips and tricks that will help the process of turning from an intern into a full-time employee. 

As an intern, there are opportunities to be immersed in the company culture, learn from seasoned professionals and gain insights into what full-time work could look like, said Moore. Standing out can help an intern reach that goal of being a full-time employee. 

Showing initiative 

Nolan Spencer, a 2022 Kent State computer science alum, started his internship journey at GPD Group in Akron as an IT Specialist at the company’s service desk. He was then offered a full-time job as an Application Developer. He credits his success to his ability to step up when the company needed it. 

“We had a ticketing system at the service desk with a leaderboard of who completed the most,” Spencer said. “I took that initiative and remained at the top of the leaderboard the whole time I was an intern.”

Going above and beyond what is expected of an intern can help the chances of securing a full-time position, Spencer said. He also made sure he stepped up when big projects were being introduced and made sure he spoke up when he had an idea.

Confidence is key

Zach Zdanowicz, community manager at the craft store JOANN, graduated from Kent State in 2022 and took an internship after graduation. He started out as a social media intern. 

Believing in oneself can set a person apart from the rest of your peers, he said. This shows that a person is proud of their work and believes in the work they are doing. Confidence and initiative can only help a person’s chances of success, according to Zdanowicz.

“You stand out differently when it’s your confidence in what you do and your personality that comes with it,” Zdanowicz said. “What we can bring to the table is our thoughts, our impressions and our personality.”

Zdanowicz said confidence isn’t easy, but once a person believes in themselves, they will be able to show their employer how passionate and committed you are. 

Standing out

Moore said she has seen internships turn into full-time jobs firsthand. 

Moore has been an educator since 2008 and an internship coordinator since 2015 at the university. Through her professional and personal experience, she has gained insights into what works well when it comes to standing out. 

Setting oneself apart and standing out to an employer does not have to be a difficult task, Moore said. There are simple and easy ways to make sure a person’s employer sees their work ethic.

“Things like taking notes, asking questions and paying attention to details are all simple but effective,” she said. “These are just easy ways that help you try and stand out.”

How a person presents themselves to their peers and coworkers is also crucial when it comes to success in an internship, she said. Having a positive attitude shows that a person is committed and happy to be at their internship. Moore said she believes that employers are more likely to hire interns who showcase a positive and go that extra mile.

“We always hear that old cliche that attitude is everything,” she said. “I think having a positive attitude and approaching work with enthusiasm is crucial.”

Networking within the company 

Communicating with professionals in the workplace allows for building connections and creating professional relationships, Moore said. She said it’s important a person identifies those leaders at and networks and learns from them. 

Networking isn’t just about trading information, Moore said. It serves as an avenue to create long-term relationships with mutual benefits. Networking can seem intimidating, but most professionals want to help students.

“Try to set up an informational meeting with one of the professionals or maybe shadow them,” she said. “If you kind of carve it into their work, it allows you to kind of build in some natural networking.”

Even little things like starting up a conversation with a co-worker can lead to a long-lasting relationship. Spencer suggests trying to break the ice with a coworker and getting to know them. He said these simple conversations allowed him to get close to the professionals as an intern. 

Making intentions clear 

If a person is enjoying the work they are doing as an intern and they express that interest to supervisors and other higher-ups at the company, they will show just how passionate they are about the work they are doing, Moore said. 

Securing a full-time offer can start with a conversation. An intern can start a conversation about full-time work with the employer, Moore suggested.

“Express your interest like saying, ‘I would love to work for this organization’ [or] ‘The culture seems like a fit for me,” Moore said. “I think that being transparent really kind of shows your passion and your enthusiasm.”

Chloe Wilson-Henline is a reporter. Contact her at [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Chloe Wilson-Henline, Opinion Writer and Social Media Tech
Chloe is a junior majoring in public relations with a minor in marketing. This is her first year with KentWired, and she enjoys writing about pop culture. Contact her at [email protected]

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