Get the most out of your internship, don’t forget to do these final things and finish strong.
Congratulations! Your summer internship is almost over and for many, it will be time to head back to college soon. However, before you fly out the door on your last day, consider these tips to make the most of your hard work.
Ask for a letter of recommendation or reference.
If you’re interested in getting a letter of recommendation from your supervisor, think about asking for one about two weeks before your internship ends. This way, he or she has a while to think about it and won’t feel rushed. Don’t want a formal letter of recommendation? Ask if he or she can be listed as a reference when the time comes for you to apply for future internships or jobs.
Ask for feedback.
If you haven’t done so already, ask your supervisor to sit down and talk through your internship experience. He or she will likely tell you what strengths you brought to the position and any weaknesses he or she sensed throughout the program. Take all of this feedback to heart and remember what was said — you can use the advice to improve or continue to shine at your next internship or job. This time would also be appropriate to ask about how your supervisor got where he or she is today.
Update your resume/LinkedIn account.
Update your resume immediately with your new internship experience so you don’t lose sight of all the great work you completed. If you have a LinkedIn profile (which you totally should!) update your work experience on there as well. Additionally, use your LinkedIn account to connect with your colleagues — a great way to stay in touch and keep updated on your former job and for them to keep an eye on your progress as well.
Write thank-you notes.
Before you leave the office on your last day, be sure to write some handwritten notes thanking those you worked with the most. Thank them for your experience this summer and invite them to keep in touch. Physical notes work better than e-mails because they’re more personal — everyone loves getting hand-written notes!
Evaluate your experience.
If you didn’t like your internship, think about why — were you just in the wrong field, or did you not get along with the other interns? Make sure you truly know why you didn’t like your job before excluding that type of work for future opportunities. If you really liked your internship, think about the reasons why and consider them for when you apply to jobs in the future. For example, if you loved the small environment of your office, consider applying for another job at a smaller company. Loved your journalism internship? Apply for another one in the same field when the time comes.
These steps will ensure that you get the most out of your internship experience, promoting your professional growth and the strength of your network. Now go finish strong!
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