1. View any student job or internship as a career moveUtilize the relationship you have with your boss, whether it’s at a student job or an internship. Indicate your interest in gaining valuable skills and experience that will help you stand out as a job applicant. Ask him/her to help mentor you in these aspects, treating every experience as If it’s another brick that will pave the way to a bright career path.
2. Stay proactive and communicativeAlways remain in constant communication with your superiors in order to ensure you’re receiving the right type of experience and guidance throughout your student job or internship. If you don’t feel you’re being asked to provide valuable contributions that will add to your work experiences or skills, say something. If you indicate you’re willing to work hard and learn and that your desire is to do so, most employers will help you accomplish your goals. You just need to be willing to communicate your needs and desires in terms of what you’re hoping to accomplish.
3. Take initiativeIt’s important to remember to go above and beyond, whether it’s within a student job or internship – no matter how mundane the task may seem. This will help demonstrate your qualities as a job candidate, which could be through opportunities presented at your current place of employment or via a recommendation for future employment.
4. Always challenge yourselfThroughout your job search, especially as a recent graduate, you will be competing with a large pool of applicants. When looking for an internship, it’s important to find one that’s challenging and will distinguish you from the pool based on your experiences. Consider whether or not an internship will provide valuable experience, industry knowledge and help you develop important skills that hiring managers are looking for within your given field. Also, consider factors such as the company’s reputation: have previous students benefited from the experience, career-wise? In taking on an internship, consider whether or not you will gain actual experience within the industry or if it’s internship for the point of having an internship – one that will not provide you with new skills, experience and distinguish you from other job applicants.
5. Stay on the lookout for opportunitiesAs you gain student job and internship experience, consider the possibility of upward mobility in terms of full-time jobs and promotions. If you’re a good worker, most companies will value your hard work and effort and will work to keep you on board. From an employer’s perspective, it’s generally much easier to transition someone from part-time employee or internship status than to hire someone brand new, since you already have experience with the company. Remember that networking is the key in terms of looking for permanent job opportunities. Utilizing job connections you already have goes a long way in terms of career potential.
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