NAIROBI: Most organisations prefer hiring employees who will hit the ground running. But few companies offer chances for internship or on job training. Whereas internship offers a learning opportunity, especially in gaining the needed skills, the chances of being hired are minimal.
However, standing out as a key pillar during internship can see you easily secure a job with the organisation. “An intern is under a manager but most of them (interns) are unaware of their expectations,” says Julia Anyango, a marketer with a city company.
Ms Anyango advices interns to know their goals and the skills set to be acquired at the beginning of internship. This is besides knowing the company’s expectations and working towards attaining the same. The best way is through communication. “Don’t shy to communicate early to know what the expectations are or express what your aims are,” she says.
Building a personal brand is recommended. Be a proactive and hardworking person. If you anticipate something needs to be done, do it without being asked.
Ms Anyango says this will be a demonstration of an intern’s initiative as a hard worker, and will get him or her noticed. “A day should not end without saying or asking for more work or additional assignments if you are done with the current one,” she observes.
However, you may know in advance about how a particular company works. Researching on it before beginning internship will give you an advantage, especially in doing things their way.
This will save you the embarrassment of asking awkward questions. “Think yourself as an employee of the company and how you would conduct yourself,” says John Kigo, a private consultant, adding that interns ought to act as professionals. This ranges from observing good conduct to dressing professionally. Punctuality also counts. Mr Kigo advises interns not to see themselves as outsiders but as integral team players in the company. “Arriving early and leaving after everyone else shows you are enthusiastic about what you’re doing, even if it is a menial job,” he says.
Knowing everybody matters and getting to learn from them is what will see that professional knowledge being imparted to you. Be sociable and likeable by all.
Ask to be considered for meetings whenever they are taking place. Make contributions as if you are an employee. Employers may be looking for dynamic and innovative ideas to take the company forward. Don’t shy from speaking up. “You may be surprised to get hired at the end of the internship period,” notes.
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