We tend to think of internships ending in a full-time job offer as something that either will or wont happen, depending on the employer’s finances and the intern’s job performance. That’s largely true, but how should an intern think about this equation?
A few weeks ago, I was reading a blog post submitted by one of our interns, Mike Cavalli. Mike is currently in the process of interning at Fuchs Audio Technology, a boutique audio equipment company and he’s pretty keen to turn it into a full time job. He’s working double-time to show his value and make that happen.
Frankly, it’s impossible to say whether that will happen or not. I, nor Mike, can jump into Fuch’s financial records and know if they’ve got the cash to hire a full-time employee. I also assume that Mike is doing a five-star job there, but again, I’m taking his word for it. When you intern, there’s just no guarantee your internship will turn into a job. Most don’t, and it’s largely dependent upon the company’s need and ability to hire you, your performance, interpersonal dynamics, etc. You shouldn’t assume to land a full-time job unless you’ve got some pretty clear indicators it’s going to head that way. But Mike’s got a very important mental concept in his mind to give himself the best shot at his goal.
If you read his post, you’ll quickly see that Mike understands that his value as an intern (and potential employee) is not static- it’s not a fixed quantity. Mike understands that his value as a worker, in the mind of his supervisor, is partly within his control. Mike gets that Fuchs may not have the cash to hire him full time. Instead of seeing his internship as something that probably won’t pay out, just a quick stop on the way to bigger and better things, Mike is asking himself, “How can I, as an intern, help this company grow to the point where not only can they afford to hire me, but can’t see themselves growing without me.”