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10 Steps To Rise From Intern To Corporate Leader

Johnny Ayers is the NYC Director of EiAbroad, as well as guest editor & expert on career advice for Generation-Y. In this week's post, Johnny Ayers provides the ten steps you need to take in order to turn your summer internship into a full-time, well paying, Elite career.

Most students embark upon internships without understanding what a hiring manager is looking for in a full-time employee. Quality work, problem solving, analytical skills and professionalism are a start. But if you want to truly excel – by transforming your current internship into a promising and rewarding position – you will need to do more than the bare minimum.

If you want to establish yourself at the top, you must figure out how to go from Point A (where you are now, i.e. this summer's internship) to Point B (an opportunity that will put you on the fast track to success, i.e. a full-time, elite job).

So how do you do this?  Execute these 10 steps to maximize your internship experience and to ensure a smooth launch into a successful career:

1.    Be Professional From Day One

Over-dress. Don't be that guy who comes in the first day in loafers and a polo shirt (unless you work at Facebook). Early is on time, on time is late and late…well, just don't bother showing up.

2.    Be Proactive In Creating Your Career

No one cares as much about your career as you do (and your mom). When you are given an assignment, take it as a challenge to excel. If you haven't been given a particular task, be proactive and seek out a team member or co-worker to assist.

Cross-pollinate. Reach out to other departments and network with their leaders.  You never know which group will catch fire and be looking to hire next year.

3.    Network, Network, Network

Read “Never Eat Alone (and other secrets to success, one relationship at a time)” by  Keith Ferrazzi

What distinguishes highly successful people from everyone else is the way that they use the power of relationships – so that everyone wins.”

4.    Do Your Research

Learn everything you can about the specific people, company and industry you are involved with.  Ask questions, research online, and participate in as many phone calls, meetings and evening events as you can. For additional industry insight – take a look at industry guides like Vault Guides.

5.    Set Goals

If you don't know what you're trying to achieve, how can you claim you've been successful? Set a roadmap for the knowledge and skills that you're looking to develop from the beginning of your internship and clearly communicate these goals with your supervisor.

6.    Chronicle Your Achievements

Document your work, successes and failures. By chronicling your ups and downs, you will have a detailed log of events for your resume and future interviews.  This will enable you to expand upon your experience with precise detail when the time comes to showcase your experiences.

7.    Don't Be Afraid To Ask Questions 

If you're in a meeting and don't understand something, take notes and research the subject over night. As an employer, there is nothing better than hearing an employee start my day with, “So I was researching x,y,z at home last night and I was wondering….”

Asking questions based on research will show your employer and co-workers that you are dedicated to learning new things during your internship and also further expresses a curiosity and intrigue with the company.

8.    Ask For Feedback

Proactively seek feedback, guidance and mentorship from your supervisor and co-workers.  By asking for constructive criticism, you are displaying how engaged and invested you are in what you do. This will also help you get closer with your supervisor, mentor, etc. Remember, it is your relationship to develop.

9.    Keep In Contact With the Company Even After You Leave

Set-up a one-on-one meeting with all of your supervisors before the end of your internship. Ask each of them how they prefer you stay in contact with them throughout the year. If you're interested in obtaining a full-time job, don't be afraid to specifically ask them what you need to do to get hired.

Sending hand-written thank-you notes is a must. Everyone sends emails, which are far from personable and don't leave a lasting impact. Remember, you want to distinguish yourself from the rest of the pack. Leaving a hand-written note will not be as easily forgotten as an email.

Make sure to stay in contact throughout the year.  Even if you're just saying hello, giving them updates of your straight “A” semester or your winter volunteer trip to Africa, don't let them forget you.

10.   Leave A Lasting Impression

Again, distinguishing yourself from the competition (your fellow interns) is the single best way to turn the heads of big-time executives. And once you turn their heads, they won't forget you. By following the previous nine steps, you will be sure to leave a positive, lasting impression on your (future) employer and cruise into a full time position!

Johnny Ayers | Elite.

Are you interested in an Elite internship in any industry? Go to EiAbroad.com 

Or call: +1(646) 827-1187


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