Trying to turn that internship into a real job come graduation? This is just one of many tips in our Internship-to-Job Series

Pitch a brand new position at the company you’re interning at. This is the most balls-to-the-wall way of getting hired but you’d be blown away by how effective it is. I highly recommend this in an economy like this one – one that’s supposedly on an upswing. 

As the economy bounces back, you want your new position to be the big (or little) idea they invest in. Not only is pitching a new position an incredible learning experience (that’s what college is ALL ABOUT!), but it has a great likelihood of blessing you with employment because it’s just so damn crafty and confident.

Note: Crafty/confident also works on the opposite sex.

Find a void

First of all, you need to figure out what’s missing at the company you’re interning with. There’s probably a lot missing – they just laid off 95% of their workforce and hired 25 extra interns to fill the holes. The job you invent can fill some of those holes. Here are a few places to start finding the leaks:

  • What kind of work are you doing as an intern? Those are the leftover tasks that don’t get covered by the rest of the company.
  • What’s stressing people out? Ask co-workers where the pressure’s on.
  • What can you offer the company that nobody else can? Think about what you’re good at and what you’re passionate about.
  • What are competitors doing? Read up in trade publications and research online to see where the future of this business lies. A new job can start adding that edge. (It will be particularly easy for us young-guns to pitch web-related jobs since older generations trust us with these things: blogging, social media, web video, etc.)

Build a pitch

Once you’ve figured out where the holes are in the company, you’ll have to synthesize them into a job description that fills them.

Pretend like the company is a beer bong. The holes you found – those are making it leak. And the beer, that’s the money. Your position is like the caulk that’s going to fill those precious money-leaks. And your pitch has to prove it.

Ultimately, you want to build a proposal and/or presentation that explains the new position (its goals, outcomes, mission, etc.) and connects it to how the company can make more money. It’ll depend on your industry how that would look, but I don’t think you can loose with a 10 minute slide show presentation and a 2-3 page handout.

Try to get a “mentor” at the company who can give you feedback as you piece this thing together – it’d be particularly handy to get the support of someone whose life will become easier were this position created – that way, there’ll be a vested interest. Not only can this mentor give you valuable feedback, but they can help back you up as you try to push this through.

Do the pitch

Once you’ve polished off the pitch just like a 60 ounce pitcher, it’ll come time to actually do it. Weeks to a month in advance, you have to schedule a meeting with the actual decision-makers. Use your supervisor and your mentor to get as high up the corporate ladder as possible. You can make this a little easier by feigning it as more of a “capstone presentation” for your internship, rather than a job-pitch. You’d be surprised how interested people are in a fresh perspective from a young person.

The back-up plan

If it doesn’t work, don’t loose hope. That kind of initiative and face-time with co-workers can make you a candidate for another job.

And, if all else fails, you have a perfectly good presentation to bring to rival companies…

[image via USACE Europe District]