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In Pickens Technical College’s Executive Internship Pathway, you’re doing more than simply ‘getting your foot in the door’ of the career you’ve always wanted. By partnering with local businesses and Aurora Public Schools, PTC puts young people in places they want to be and arms them with the resources to succeed and start building their careers before others have finished school.

You’ve probably heard ‘get your foot in the door’ incessantly from people outside the class since you’ve started your Executive Internship at PTC. Sure, getting your foot in the door is great, and getting a head start on building your career is never a bad thing, but what do you do after your foot is in the door? How do you advance? How do you succeed?

Before we start examining how to build a career in a field you’ve only just broken into, something needs to be said about the Executive Internship program: just because you spend a semester interning at a company doesn’t mean that a) you have to stay at that company forever, or b) you have to keep working in the industry you chose for your Executive Internship in high school. Many people find after they’ve invested years of their lives and tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars in a particular field, that they hate it. You have the unique opportunity to walk away from something with little loss if it doesn’t feel right. You’ve tried it in the EI program, but you’re not married to it.

If you have found something you love, here’s how to maximize your EI program experience.

Don’t Shy From Responsibility

In the last EI pathway post back in April, I wrote about how taking on more responsibility and being proactive at work is a great way to get noticed and get promoted. After your internship ends and your career as a full-time employee begins, your managers, leaders, CEOs, etc. will be looking for improvement at every stage in your career.

Sometimes, promotions are given to undeserving workers who don’t seem to know the job they’re in, much less a more influential one, but if you find ways to take on added small responsibilities, you’ll be making life easier for your managers, which they will always reward.

Continuing Education

The beauty of PTC’s Executive Internship program is that it puts you directly in the workplace where you’ll be starting your career. Assuming you like the company and the work, of course, there’s no stressful period of trying to find a job after graduating from Pickens. But that doesn’t mean you’re done with your education. In every field, there is plenty of ancillary information that will inform you and help you in your day-to-day work. The more certifications you earn, for example, the higher you can expect to be paid, either by your current employer or by another.

When it comes time to get your foot in the door, don’t waste the opportunity and don’t count your first job as a victory. Keep your eyes downfield, on continuous improvement.