Skills You Must Demonstrate As An Intern To Get Absorbed Into A Full-Time Role
Whether you’re Cristiano Ronaldo, Rocky Balboa, or even Po from Kung Fu Panda, you need to give it a little extra to get to the new level.
The same goes with interns who want to get absorbed into a full-time role.
There were many people who were better than me, smarter than me and even much more qualified than me who were looking to seal that sweet employment letter but in the end, I prevailed and this is how I did it.
I present to you 6 important skills that I learned during 6 months of interning at UniAcco, the leading cross border student accommodation platform. I believe that every intern who is looking to get absorbed into a full-time role needs to demonstrate these skills
In essence, an internship is an opportunity to experience exactly how a company operates. However, most interns confide themselves to the roles they’ve been assigned to and never really venture past their domain. This is absolutely criminal as internships are meant for garnering valuable experience in various facets of a business. It is important to let your employer know your willingness to explore functions out of your circle of competence.
Example - I conveyed to my manager my willingness to explore other functions, while still covering my current responsibilities in content marketing. I was given a chance to generate affiliate partnerships, something a typical Content Writer would never come across. I was more than willing to try my hand at it, and guess what? I loved it. I now have a valuable skill that to bank on for the remainder of my career.
A study was conducted among top CEOs all over the world, asking them the one quality they believe was crucial to their job. Most of them unanimously agreed that ‘decisiveness’ was the main quality needed to ace the job. If big-time CEOs believe that being decisive is important, interns need to take this to heart and start developing this skill right from Day 1.
Example - Even though I was a new intern, I never shied away from exhibiting my leadership skills. There was an instance where my boss set an highly unrealistic target for the content team to achieve. While most of my peers caved in and accepted the target, I knew that everyone would struggle in achieving these gargantuan numbers. So I spoke up and explained to my boss that this goal was unrealistic and put forth an alternative POA that was more suited to the skills and efficiency of the team. My peers even backed me up and ultimately we followed my recommendation, much to the delight of the entire content team.
3. Attention To Detail
During my schooling days, I was a part of the football team that won titles almost every year. We were such a strong team that other schools wouldn’t even dare put up a serious fight against us. Now when I look back on those days and wonder what made us such a force to be reckoned with, I realized it was the attention to detail with which we used to practice. Whether it was setting up a complicated offside trap or perfecting a simple throw in, our team invested hours on getting them right. This habit of paying sharp attention to detail stuck with me even when I started interning.
Example - Our UniAcco marketing team was puzzled as to why our content was not faring well on blog hosting sites. We had a well functioning content team that regularly churned out high level articles, so we knew that wasn’t the issue. But we still couldn’t manage to get to the root of the problem. Determined to find a solution I embarked on a monster research session and found a solution - Canonical links. In essence, these links prevent content from being duplicated, which inturn, helps your content to rank on Google. We incorporated the canonical links in our articles and instantly noticed a boost in their performances. This would not have been possible without my perseverance and attention to detail.
Go the extra mile to improve your communication skills. Besides learning all the jargons necessary at a professional work setting, one also needs to know how to communicate during casual conversations with colleagues. Since I work at the startup, the work environment is not as formal and restricted as in a corporate office, but there’s still a certain level of decorum you need to maintain.
Example - A colleague of mine had a great idea on how we can spruce up our “blogs” section but didn’t have the skills to articulate his idea. I knew the gist of his idea and explained it to the team, with our boss being in attendance. The idea was a hit! Although I maintained that this idea wasn’t mine and I was merely a messenger, the team did commend me for presenting the idea.
When you are at the bottom of the food chain, you really need to nail down all the elementary stuff. Punctuality is something that everyone should follow, even outside their professional life.
Example - Before we were struck by the whole Work From Home phenomenon, I always made it a point to reach work on time. When the clock struck 11, everyone at work knew that I would walk in. The receptionist even jokes that when she sees me she knows it’s sharp 11 AM without looking at the clock! Even now when we’re all working from home, I’m always ready online at 1:30 PM for the daily scrum call.
Someone once said that focus is the only superpower you really need. During the course of my internship, I realized just how true this statement was. I learned how important it is to allocate time, energy and resources to strategies, problems, and projects that are of the highest importance. I also learned just how imperative it is to communicate your priorities clearly and effectively.
Example - If I had 7 deliverables for the day, I would first ascertain which deliverable needs to be ticked off first. Once I set my priorities I would convey the same to my boss and proceed to work fervently in getting everything done on time. I wouldn’t call it a day until every deliverable on my list was completed.
The onset of the pandemic has not been easy on us. Finding jobs has never been this difficult, as companies can't afford an increase in their operating cost. Internships have emerged as a preferred avenue for companies while hiring as it gives them an opportunity to test the skills and characteristics of prospective employees before getting them onboard. I am sure that by honing the aforementioned skills, you will be well on your way to sealing that sweet employment letter.
Good luck, and Godspeed.