The beginning of August is here, which means that interns will soon be leaving and returning to college.
Personally, I loved being an intern. An internship teaches you so many different skills that you cannot learn in classroom. It gives you an opportunity to interact with coworkers, learn how to handle situations and to understand the workplace environment.
I often see interns stroll in the office, do a wonderful job and then when their internship is finished, they disappear. People, remember this: if anything, your internship should serve as a networking tool.
From a former intern, here are a few steps that you can take to ensure you make the most of your internship once it’s over:
- Write thank-you notes. This goes a long way – believe me. Before you leave the office for the last time (or if you have already departed, you can mail your note), you should write a simple note expressing your gratitude towards your mentor and/or boss. Explain what you learned and little moments that impacted your internship. You want to leave on a great note, and this is a perfect way to do so.
- Secure your references. You should have one person who worked closely with you serve as a reference on your resume. You can also ask them for letters of recommendation if needed!
- Check in with your office. Every couple of months, you should email or call your supervisor to see how they are doing and to ask for advice. You can get their advice on your senior project, what type of jobs you should be looking for, etc. Don’t be afraid to ask for help with your job search – more than likely, they will want to help you!
- Promote your company and internship program. You should let people know how wonderful your experience was and that you still want to be involved. If there are any events that your office is hosting, you should ask to volunteer and bring other students with you.
- Keep in contact with your intern pals. You are going through the same thing. It’s tough to graduate and move into the real world. You’re friends will have similar experiences and can help you through it and give you advice. I still keep in touch with my “intern union” and we have helped each other through our first jobs, celebrated promotions, and listened when one of us had a bad day.
Being the first one to the office and the last one to leave can be tiring, but your boss will remember the little things that you did. Not only is it important to impress your coworkers during your time in the office but also afterwards. Now, go start writing your thank-you notes!
What advice do you have for students as they finish up their internships?