We sat down with Blake Glasbergen, a visual researcher at Discovery’s Daily Planet to pick his brain about how to turn your internship into a full-time job.
Internships are valuable.
Paid, unpaid, long term, short term. Doesn’t matter. They’re valuable.
Being able to get a foot in the door in your chosen industry not only helps you build your resume, but also gives you an immediate access to colleagues and mentors. It’s like a networking booster shot.
Even if you don’t like your internship, a bad experience can help you learn what you don’t want to do. And trust me, that’s still valuable.
But if you’re reading this, chances are you don’t need to be convinced to go out and get an internship.
You’re probably wondering either a) how do I get an internship I really want? And b) how do I turn that internship into a full time job?
To answer that question I turned to my buddy Blake.
(You can follow Blake on Twitter here)
Blake took the broadcast journalism course at Sheridan College where he was constantly reminded that he was entering a tough, competitive, dying industry.
But that didn’t stop Blake from setting his sights squarely on his dream internship. At Discovery Canada.
Fast forward a few years and Blake is a visual researcher for Daily Planet on Discovery. And yes, before you ask, he gets to work on Shark Week.
I asked Blake what his secret was for scoring his dream internship, and how he turn it into a full time position.
Here are some key takeaways from the podcast.
Finding an internship.
Utilize your teachers.
You can start doing this right now.
Blake actually reached out to his teacher’s first. He utilized their personal networks to help connect him with people inside Discovery.
Send short emails frequently.
Busy people just don’t have a lot of time to read your emails.
Keeping your emails short, timely and frequent helps to ensure that they’ll actually be read and responded to.
Use Twitter to find, connect with people.
At a loss when it comes to finding who to contact?
Blake used Twitter’s to learn more about the people who worked at Discovery.
He says one of his biggest mistakes at the time was not reaching out to ask for a coffee and a chat before his interview.
Be persistent, but polite.
Your goal is to stay on top of your contact’s mental list, without coming off as a pest.
Keep your communications digital (no phone or uninvited office visits) and don’t follow up more than once a week.
Going from intern to employee.
Pick what you’re passionate about.
Ever hear the old phrase, “If you do what you love, you’ll never work another day in your life?”
The world will tell you to make a practical decision. But the truth is that it’s much easier to do great work and be stand out candidate if you’re working at something you love.
It’s great to know what you hate.
Similarly, figuring out what you don’t want to can be a powerful tool to point you in the right direction.
That’s the real beauty of internships—they give you taste of the real thing and help you decide where you focus your efforts.
Be a great fit.
More than just finding an industry or job description you love, being the right culture fit for an organization is all important.
A job isn’t just what you do. It’s where you work, who you work with and the problems you work together to fix. Sometimes a healthy sense of humour helps too.
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*Opinions expressed are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Student Life Network or their partners.