Whether you’re still in college, recently graduated, or otherwise trying to make your way in today’s ultra-competitive job market, internships can offer a valuable experience. However, it’s not always about the experience you get . . . it’s also about the experience you give.
What does that mean?
It means that internships present you with the opportunity to build your employment brand. Every time you come into contact with a co-worker, no matter if you’re an intern or an employee, you’re continually building and molding your brand. In other words, you’re helping to shape how other people think of you, what their attitudes are about you as a person and potential employee, and how you fit into the overall company culture. All of these things are important, not only in regards to your chances for landing a job at that particular company, but also for your career overall.
A USA Today article contained some valuable information about internships, and much of the advice that it dispensed dealt with ways to provide great experiences for those around you and also brand yourself in the best way possible.
Employment branding—as well as personal branding—isn’t a “sometimes thing.” It’s an “all the time thing,” and that especially applies to anyone who strives to move from an internship to full-time employment.