Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Turning A Nonprofit Internship Into A Job

Cross posted from The Nonprofit Jobseeker

Nonprofit internships are ideal for people looking to break into the sector. They provide a great chance for individuals to get a better idea of what it's like to work at a not-for-profit by providing them with hands on experiences. There's only one problem: Internships often don't provide much income besides a stipend. Luckily for job seekers, a lot of organizations use internship programs as a way to scout potential full time employees. Here are some tips to help you make that happen:

  • Talk to everybody you meet at the organization. Successful work environments require you to have a positive attitude with everybody. Being friendly to your co-workers as an intern is not only the right thing to do, it will create a great lasting impression. You never know who you are going to impress.

  • Nothing is more impressive to prospective employers than an intern who always finds more work to do. Make it a point to go to your supervisor for more work when you are finished with whatever they assigned you. If they don't have anything for you at that time, keep yourself busy by reading organization literature.

  • Don't be afraid to ask questions. It may be cliche, but the only stupid question is the one that's not asked. Look at it this way: Would you rather feel awkward asking a question that might seem obvious, or make a mistake because you were too anxious to ask?

  • The fact of life for all interns is that they will eventually be asked to do grunt work. Even though this work is tedious, it's important to remain enthusiastic. Your chances of being hired full time will sink significantly if all you do is mope. Nobody likes a moper.

  • Find a mentor! This can be anybody that works in the department you are looking to join. You will probably want this person to be your supervisor because you will be interacting with him/her the most. A good mentor will be someone who is willing to share their expertise and knowledge.

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