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Turning a summer internship into a job

June 24, 2012|By Scott J. Wilson, Los Angeles Times
  • Tip No. 4: Dress appropriately for the job. “If you’re in doubt, err on the more conservative side,” says Matthew Proman of the National Assn. of Professional Women.
Tip No. 4: Dress appropriately for the job. “If you’re in doubt,… (Matthew Staver, Bloomberg )

Summer internships offer an opportunity for young people to try out a profession and for employers to evaluate possible future hires. If you're hoping to turn your internship into a permanent position, experts offer these tips:

Think long-term. "Don't think of your internship as short-term but imagine that you are a full-time employee at the company," recommended Peter Handal, chief executive of Dale Carnegie Training. "Demonstrate that you really see yourself fitting in with the corporate culture and also that you are capable of handling the workload."

Volunteer. "If you work at a company that puts on a lot of events or after-hour benefits, volunteer to work at them," Handal said. "They might cut into your free time, but volunteering demonstrates you are interested and eager to learn."

Share ideas. "If you have an idea or input, think it through, and then speak up," said Matthew Proman, founder of the National Assn. of Professional Women. "You never know, you could have a valuable idea no one else has thought of, but at the very least, you will seem involved and a good critical thinker."

Dress right. Wear clothes that fit with your work environment. "Dressing unprofessionally is one of the biggest blunders that interns make," Proman observed. "If you're in doubt, err on the more conservative side."

Exceed expectations. "You have a brief amount of time to show what you're made of," Proman said. "Come early, stay late and take on extra projects. The objective is to blow them away."

scott.wilson@latimes.com

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