So, you’ve managed to land an internship at a company you like, and now you want to keep the good times rolling. The good news is, most companies actually want to give return offers to their interns; it’s a lot cheaper and carries less risk for them to hire someone that’s already proven themselves than search for a new candidate. With this in mind, all you have to do is show them that they didn’t make a mistake in hiring you, and that you’re someone your coworkers would want to work with.
Take it seriously
It’s a job, like any other. This one seems like a no-brainer, but it’s easy to get caught up in the incredible perks that a lot of tech companies offer, and forget that it’s not a summer camp. So if you’re coming in at noon everyday, taking a 2 hour lunch with other interns, and showing up late to meetings, you’re almost certainly not getting a return offer. Be mature and responsible, and put in the level of effort that would be expected of a full time employee.
Be a solution, not a problem
This one is a bit tricky because there’s a fine line between being too stubborn to ask for help, and pestering your manager and teammates for every problem. Obviously, if there’s something you need access to or a major decision needs to be made, communicate that with your manager. Asking questions is a good thing, unless it can be answered by a quick search on Google.
Don’t be afraid to volunteer for more responsibility, as long as it won’t prevent you from meeting your current obligations. Exceeding expectations will only help you, and make you a more valuable member of the team. Don’t try to get your coworkers to do your work for you; you want to be known as someone who gets things done, not someone who needs their hand held for everything.
When your teammates need help with something, unless you have a more urgent problem to tackle, take some time to help them out. Unblocking your teammates helps improve the overall productivity of the team, and shows that you’re a team player. Your manager will notice you doing this, whether they see it happen, or hear about it later, and it will reflect well on you.
Keep your friends close, but your manager closer
The single most important relationship you have at your job is with your direct manager. Although developing relationships with other coworkers can also be important in developing your network, at the end of the day, your manager is the person who decides whether you get to come back or not.
One mistake a lot of interns make is that they’re almost afraid of talking to their manager, and are a lot more comfortable communicating with fellow interns or team members. This is understandable, but communication is key in relationships, and you need to make sure your manager always knows what’s going on. Don’t be afraid to voice your opinions, or (respectfully) push back on ideas if you see a better way to do things. If you have a good manager, they’ll appreciate you letting them know, because it will help them do their job better. Additionally, small things like saying “good morning”, and getting to know them as a person, can help a lot in developing rapport.