9 tips for turning an internship into a full-time job

Someone who pulled it off offers advice.

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I learned the hard way. I had the degree and the grades; I just didn’t have the chops.

Upon graduating with a bachelor’s in journalism, I went from applying for jobs in my field to seeking jobs in a related field, and then to relevant internships. I’ve been a contractor, I’ve been the intern who did nothing, and, most recently, I’ve been the intern who got the job.

Making the leap from intern to employee takes hard work, but it’s not complicated. Think of it this way: Your internship is a 12-week-long interview.

This may mean reversing some bad habits, learning some new tricks, and working like never before. Just remember these essentials:

Take your internship seriously. This isn’t just another place for you to sit down, browse the Internet, and text to your heart’s desire—especially if you want to stay there. Treat it as you would any other job. Work hard, show your efforts, and dress for the job you want rather than the internship you have.

Respect company time. With any luck, your internship will start with a comfortable workload while you learn the ropes. Once you get comfortable, don’t look for ways to slack off. If you have free time at work, take on more responsibility. You’ll be helping the team and yourself.

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