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You’re a few years away from graduation, but you know you need to have internships under your belt before then. The only problem is, you don’t know what you want to do after graduation. How do you choose the right internship? RELATED: How To Make Internships Translate To Employers Displaying relevant work experience should be your primary goal. Those with internships on their resume tend to land jobs faster after graduation and tend to receive higher salaries upon graduation. This is because an internship can be a gateway to gaining skills, marketing those skills, and leveraging those skills to obtain better income potential with full-time commitment. Choosing the right internship for you comes down to a few eye-opening ideas:

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If you have taken on an internship and absolutely love it, it is very likely you want to turn that experience into a full-time job. You're probably asking,“But how can I do it?” Well, the answer might be long, but is actually quite simple. Related: 6 Reasons Internships Are A Must In College Sometimes, giving your best is not enough. You have to take a few pages from the professionalism and entrepreneurship books, and use them as if they were your own knowledge. With time, it will actually be yours. Here are a few tips on how to turn your internship into a full-time gig:

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It’s hard to find recent college graduates who haven’t completed an internship. After all, in today’s competitive market, students have to stay competitive by gaining experience outside the classroom. More than often, these internships pay barely livable stipends or worse, are unpaid. Granted, if internships provide what they’re meant to provide (knowledge within the industry, experience, and professional connections), they’ll be far more valuable than any hourly wage. Related: How To Turn Your Internship Into Full-Time Employment Still, you can’t eat business cards and pay your rent in kudos from your mentor. For those interns who are following their dream job at less than minimum wage, I feel your pain. Here are some tips to help you get through the tough times:

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If you ask any successful business person about how they got their career start, you’ll more than likely see a wistful look in their eye as they recall an internship that made a significant impact on their lives. Related: How To Turn Your Internship Into Full-Time Employment That’s all well and good, but what is the real trick to making sure your internship doesn’t turn into the “making coffee and running copies” dreaded drudgery? The truth is that what your internships turns into rests on you. But there is a real secret to making these internships truly meaningful. You can make out of it as much or as little as you would like. Go-getters go into internship experiences with high expectations; more importantly, they have a plan. It’s just not enough to suddenly be granted the privilege to walk through the vaunted doors of the company… you need to help define and shape your experience so that you walk out of there benefiting from it just as much as your internship sponsor. So, what does it take to have a successful plan? How do you communicate it to your supervisor?

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