In Spain, around 70 000 college students are selected by an organization to take their first steps into the labour world through an internship grant every year. Once this period (which takes place during the academic year, or during summer holidays) is finished, one of the main objectives is to extend their time in the company, thus enriching or inaugurating the “professional experience” section in their resumes.

This internship model provides the following benefits, which should also be considered goals by trainees:

  1. Applying the knowledge acquired during their Degree or Master’s.
  2. Inside knowledge on how organizations operate.
  3. Solving actual case-related issues in their training environment.
  4. Building a network and learn to interact professionally with their environment.
  5. Creating a professional profile that is appealing to talent recruiters.

Speaking about turning an internship program into a labour contract, this is achieved in 25% of the cases, according to HR company Nexian. For that to happen, two circumstances not always easy to find must converge: the existence of vacancies in the company and a performance that makes the difference on the part of the trainee. If the first factor of the equation occurs, the second one depends entirely on the performance of the candidate.

The concept of job performance is used in the field of HR not only to refer to carrying out assigned duties properly —in this case, we’re talking about “work efficiency”. The term has a wider meaning, including other aspects that allow for measuring a person’s adequacy, such as skills, abilities, attitudes, aptitudes and the potential overall value of the candidate for the company.

Many HR departments make regular job performance assessments on students during their internship or first job. In many cases, even, that’s one of the duties assigned to professionals of the organization acting as mentors. Nevertheless, it’s highly beneficial for trainees to self-evaluate themselves from the beginning.

How to monitor your job performance during your internship

If you’re a trainee and wish to turn your grant into a employment contract, we put your doubts to rest below:

How well do I know the company in which I’m about to do an internship?

It’s crucial that you do some research before your internship in a company, paying close attention to their philosophy, mission, vision and values. Some experts point out that showing indifference for those aspects has a negative impact on the trainee’s assessment. Also, that research work may let you be aware of the real chances of being hired once tour internship is through.

What kind of attitude is expected from me during my internship?

Talented professionals who are most likely to be recruited after an internship are usually a mix of the following attitudinal ingredients: strong will to learn; adaptability to changes; courage to face challenges; understanding of organizational culture; teamwork capabilities; and commitment to the project of the company.

Which skills do companies value the most in a trainee?

The HR expert Viridiana López Rodríguez points out that “the most crucial and decisiveprofessional skills that increase the chances of going from trainee to recruited are:

  1. Creativity: ability to find “new and improved ways to do the job”.
  2. Initiative:It’s one of the things that may help us stand out the most”, explains López.
  3. Ease of learning.
  4. Being decisive, having the ability to provide solutions.
  5. Teamworking skills.
  6. Punctuality and reliability.

Also, you must be aware that there are different kinds of profiles regarding workforce planning. That means not every professional is a great strategist, the same way best long-term thinkers may not be as effective in daily activities. Within this strategical, tactical and operational division is where you’ll find yourself, too. Discover your strengths and exploit them, but be also aware of your weak points, so that you can work on them and improve day by day. And remember: not everybody is skilful in everything. Professional diversity is what enriches any team or project.

Will I receive a poor assessment on my performance if I ask too many things?

Being curious is one of the most valued attitudes in the labour world. Asking will help you know your duties better, grasping a quick understanding of the organization and its structure. On the other hand, there are several experts who point out that an excess of questions about every tiny detail may have a negative impact. Being autonomous to a certain extent means to use your own skills in order to do some research independently and getting answers eventually, which will be interpreted as an extra effort on your part.

Am I approaching mi first job as an intern correctly?

Take your internship as a real job. Do what’s in your hands to integrate in the team, generously and humbly. Besides, if you’re done with your assigned duties, earn some extra points by asking what more can you help with in order to meet the needs of the company. Proving that you fulfilled your duties is great, but showing that you’re ready to take up some more helps you be a better professional.

As you can see, it’s quite simple to do a self-evaluation, starting from the first day of your internship. A good job performance on your part can be translated into a contract on the short term, but long-term benefit is ensured: you’ll take the first step towards professional excellence, turning your profile into a magnet for those in charge of attracting talent to their organizations.

At ACCIONA our aim is for our workforce to be made up of the best professionals around. We want people who wish to contribute in designing a better planet. Discover our job-offers available worldwide.