Internship coming to a close? Make the most of the time you have left with these 8 easy steps:
1. ASK FOR FEEDBACK
Interning is about learning – so take some time to learn about yourself and the impact that you had during the summer. This will make your next experience even better. Your supervisor, co-workers and/or clients will often have helpful feedback regarding your performance, attitude and overall growth. As you gather more information you’ll find that your ability to identify and communicate your strengths & weaknesses has become more more fluid/natural. (Source)
Note: In addition to identifying information about yourself be sure to identify information that is important to your supervisor, co-workers and colleagues. Find out what they look for in interns or entry-level hires. Odds are what they share with you will be important to future employers. That information will be valuable to you in future job searches regardless of whether you hope to return or go somewhere else.
2. ASK FOR A LETTER OF RECOMMENDATION
Another great thing about asking for feedback is that it can present the opportune time to verify whether or not the person giving you feedback would consider being a future reference for you. If you plan on using this experience in future job searches (i.e., listing it on your resume or LinkedIn profile or talking about your experience in an interview) then you’ll want to know whether the individual writing your letter would be a strong or lukewarm reference. This applies even if you’re planning to attend med, law or graduate school. (Source)
Note: Asking during your internship also makes it much easier for your letter writer. Writing a recommendation while it’s still fresh on your mind is better than trying to recall the experience at a later date.
3. TALK ABOUT NEXT STEPS
If you really enjoyed your internship and think that it’s the place you’d like to ultimately end up be sure to ask about opportunities to do so. It’s important that you make sure they know how you feel and that you’d like to return. A one-on-one meeting with your supervisor is a great time to share this information or if that’s not possible you can always reconnect with the person who recruited you and ask them about next steps. (Source)
4. BE SURE TO SAY 'THANK YOU' (TO EVERYONE WHO DESERVES TO HEAR IT)
Be sure to thank everyone who helped you during your internship. Don’t just thank your supervisor and other higher ups — be sure to thank your fellow interns, program assistants and/or anyone else who helped you while you were there. You never know where people might end up and how you might be able to help one another. (Source)
5. FINISH WHAT YOU STARTED
Try your best to finish the projects you started. Sometimes it’s not possible and if that is the case make sure to be as helpful as possible to whomever will be finishing up what you were working on. Offer to walk them through what you are working on and also be sure to leave detailed notes/instructions. The goal is to make sure that you’re leaving them in a good place and that they can finish what you were working on without having to reinvent the wheel. (Source)
6. UPDATE YOUR RESUME AND LINKEDIN PROFILE
Update your resume and LinkedIn profile while everything is still fresh in your mind while you have a little extra time. Also be sure to save any non-confidential project information you worked on during your internship (i.e., pictures, charts, graphs, videos, presentations, etc.) so that you can include those in your portfolio or as part of your LinkedIn profile. (Source)
7. GATHER CONTACT INFO AND KEEP IN TOUCH (AND ACTUALLY FOLLOW THROUGH)
Again, once school starts back up it can get busy quickly and many have found that they failed to keep in touch. Make a plan to stay in touch and develop a system to make it easy and/or to keep you accountable. One suggestion is to create a group email list for your supervisor, colleagues, and anyone else you met during your internship and to periodically check in with them. Do not reach out only when you want something from them.
You should also ask to connect with them on LinkedIn as that is an easy way to keep up to date with what they’re doing as well as a great way to share information that may be helpful or valuable to them. (Source)
8. REFLECT ON WHAT YOU LEARNED ABOUT YOURSELF
Finally make sure to reflect on your summer experience. Use this time to think about how you will describe your experience during future job searches. Think about some of the common interview questions you normally hear and whether your experience allows you to answer any of those types of questions – if so, make note of those questions and experiences.
Also think about what you really enjoyed or disliked about your experience. Brainstorm about how your experience could have been better, both from the point of view of what you could have done as well as what the organization you interned at could have done. This will allow you to learn more about yourself, your likes, your interests and your values.
When it comes time to think about the next organization you’re interested in, you’ll be armed with valuable information that will help you make the best and most informed decision. Additionally you’ll be able to accurately articulate why you want to work there and how you can help them accomplish their goals. (Source)