Career Tips for Interns Relevant at Any Stage

Hiring interns is a great way to gain some extra capacity at work. At the same time, you are able to assist these students by providing them with real-world work experiences and the development of their portfolios and business skills.

I feel strongly about bringing on interns. It’s a great way to give back. I also frequently receive calls from college students whose assignment is to interview an alumnus about how college shaped them and how that experience translates into the work world.  

In both instances, I spend time mentoring and coaching them. Whenever possible, I connect them with others and offer job leads. I’m always proud when they land their next internship or, even better, that first job.

The other day when I had finished offering advice, I realized that the advice I was sharing with an intern, still applied to those seeking a job. It doesn’t matter where you are in your career, the basics remain the same.

1)      Join groups to network. Of course, I’m going to encourage you to join NFPW. But don’t limit yourself to one. And don’t limit yourself to your profession. Join a service organization, volunteer. The key is to meet people who can connect you to others. At the same time, you may be able to help others out.

2)      Post a profile to LinkedIn. Most HR offices check to see if you have a profile. They want to know that you are visible and are keeping your skills fresh. For those who say they don’t have enough time, I say, you can’t afford to not be visible. In less than an hour you can create a simple profile. Then check in once a month. That’s not a large investment in your career.

3)      It’s always appropriate to send a thank you. Some of us still send note cards, but an email thank you  is equally effective. It demonstrates that you have basic etiquette skills.

4)      If you are a freelancer, are between jobs or have more to share than what is on your work business card, consider ordering a personal business card. I’ve created one that lists my role with NFPW, my blog and how to reach me.

5)      Don’t stop learning. You may have finished your college courses, but the world is constantly changing. Keep up with current events. Participate in webinars and seminars. Attend conferences, including the Face 2 Face NFPW Conference in Chicago this August.

If you follow these tips for interns, your career will stay on a solid path.

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