For many students, lining up a job after graduation may seem like a daunting task. For those students who are actively looking for a job while they finish school, finding an internship is the first step. For companies, interns provide a great way to manage tasks around the office. They also serve as prospective hires. This is a summary of what I did to stand out and land an Optimum7 job offer.
After being accepted into the Optimum7 internship program, I had only one goal in mind, get a job offer. Although I was a PR major with no background or knowledge of marketing, I knew that if I demonstrated good “work” qualities I could position myself as a top contender for an entry level position. I knew that I did not have to be the smartest intern as long as I worked hard and fully committed myself to Optimum7. From the first day, I could tell that my attitude toward the internship differed from my peers, where as they were trying to get through the tasks and go home, I was looking for opportunities to stand out and demonstrate my work ethic. This approach ultimately paid off as I was offered the job six weeks into the internship program.
The first thing I did to stand out was to show commitment to the internship and the overall goals of the company. This may seem so obvious that it does not need to be stated, but in my experience, many people over-look this crucial aspect and fail to make themselves stand out at all.
Here are some other things I did to demonstrate my commitment that can be applied to anybody:
1. Show up early every day. This will show the company that you are not only punctual, but reliable as well. When I was an Intern, I worked 15 hours more than everyone else weekly.
2. Dedicate time to the internship outside of work. This could include reading related industry articles and spending time researching for new ideas to present to the company.
3. If you really want to show commitment, volunteer for extra tasks that were not assigned to you. If you manage to do these things on a regular basis, your boss and other higher-ups in the company will take notice of your efforts.
When Optimum7 accepted me into their internship program, they also selected 8 of my peers. I knew that if I did nothing drastic that I would be looked over and just seen as one of the “pack,” which was unacceptable to me. To stand out I knew that I needed to be a leader and take responsibility for my work. I needed to:
1. Make sure that all of my tasks are completed on time and with no errors. The work that you do is the primary method the company will use to evaluate its interns when it is time to hire new employees. If you fail to do anything else to stand out, make sure your work speaks for itself. Constantly strive to make yourself heard during staff meetings and never be afraid to ask questions or to make suggestions. Vocalizing one great idea may be all it takes to land a job offer, or in my case, a few decent ideas did the trick.
2. Always be aware of what was going on in the company, regardless if I was directly involved or not. Go the extra mile and strive to do things that are beneficial for the company. Most of all, take pride in your work and everything else will fall into place.
Another thing I did to secure the job offer while still completing my internship was to take advantage of all the company has to offer and teach you. While your academic classes may teach you the concepts related to an industry, an internship will teach you how to apply these concepts in a work environment to achieve results. Optimum7 provides all of its interns with access to Lynda Online Marketing Classes. I used to spend an hour on these each day and took notes as if I were to be tested on the material. If by the end of the internship you have acquired many of the skills needed for a specific position and have knowledge of the company’s clients and inner working, you will strengthen your chances of being the first pick when it is time to hire. Keep the big picture in mind and try to understand the concepts behind the work you are doing as opposed to just trying to finish tasks as quickly as possible.
Lastly, I strove to be a personable and friendly worker. Each day I made an effort to get to know everyone in the company. Companies are always looking to add team members who can work well together; a happy environment is a productive one! If you get an opportunity to meet the decision-makers in a company, always introduce yourself professionally, make direct eye contact and give a firm handshake to make an impression.
I was also constantly mindful of my appearance and kept my workspace organized. People are naturally drawn to those who portray themselves as clean, neat and organized. Most importantly, always try to have fun and never take yourself too seriously. If you look forward to going to work and truly want to be there, your co-workers will take notice. Lastly, if you want to make an easy impression and get everyone to like you, bring in food! This is a foolproof way to get people to like you!
Each day I went to work with the objective of getting a job offer in mind and tested myself by stepping outside what I would have considered myself comfortable with. I worked as hard as I could each day I was here and truly wanted to help Optimum7. When I was offered the job after only six weeks, I had a rush of energy go through my body. Knowing that I put myself out there and got the result that I so badly craved gave me a huge confidence boost as well as a nice paycheck. I remember walking to my car after accepting the job and pumping my fist like Tiger Woods! Believe me, if I could do it, you can do it too! Happy Job Hunting!