4 Tips To Turn Your Internship Into a Job


Quinn Thomas staff

It’s that time of year again — graduation time.

A year ago, I was quickly approaching my graduation from the University of Oregon and as much as I didn’t want to leave my friends and the fun life I had created in Eugene, I was calmed knowing that I had secured a job post-grad…. well sort of.

Many people graduating college take an internship that has the possibility of turning into a full-time gig. That’s the boat I was in. And although I didn’t have complete job security, I picked-up and moved to Portland to intern here at Quinn Thomas. Without the promise of a job three months down the road, I was determined to turn my internship into a “real” job — and that’s what I did.

Quinn Thomas hired me before the end of my internship and I will soon celebrate my first year with the agency.

So, if you’re a senior in the same boat I was in a year ago (or will soon be) here are some steps you can take to put you in the best position for a full-time role.

#1 – The Small Stuff Matters

There are a million things going on in a firm, and sometimes they just need someone to serve as the “glue” that keeps the agency together. Small things such as making sure the pens to the whiteboard work before an important client meeting, or that the printer has paper before printing an important proposal are all things that may seem trivial, but have a huge impact. You will have plenty of opportunities to do higher-level tasks, but initiating the small things can speak volumes of your character.

#2 – Say “Yes” To Everything

Sometimes saying "yes" to everything means helping Oregon State University produce a promotional video even though you're a proud University of Oregon alum.

Sometimes saying “yes” to everything means helping Oregon State University produce a promotional video even though you’re a proud University of Oregon alum.

Probably the most cliché tip, but still very important. For myself, working at a small firm meant I was asked to help with everything from video production, media relations to event planning. Say “yes” to it all because you will learn something from every project big and small. The great part about an internship is no one expects you to know everything. But, if you show that you care about learning how to do it, you’re going places. Although it’s important to always say “yes,” it’s also important to properly manage your time so you are reliable on every task you work on.

#3 – Attitude is EVERYTHING

Be. Someone. People. Want. To. Be. Around.
More than ever it’s important to be a person that people enjoy being around. I had a boss tell me once that he will choose someone with less experience to work with who has a better attitude than vice versa. When people enjoy being around you, they are more likely to involve you in tasks and that is how you best learn the industry!

#4 – Make Sure the Job is the Right Fit for You

Just as you are making a great impression on your potential employers, be sure they are making one on you as well. You want to work at a company where you feel invested in. Quinn Thomas is that place for me. I was drawn to the ability to work at a small firm that offers me countless learning opportunities and the ability to take on high-level tasks less than a year out of college.

Congrats to all the graduating seniors. I hope these tips help you in your search for a job!

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