Mind your manners. Grab a sweater. And, of course, don’t forget your pleases and thank yous.
These were lessons learned early on. By simply saying thank you, you leave a great impression wherever you go. Whether saying thank you to the barista at Starbucks or to the executive after an interview, it matters.
As young professionals, more important than just saying thank you is writing it down. It won’t take more than five minutes to write a personal thank-you note to an internship supervisor.
Last year, I interned at the non-profit organization Millennium Campus Network. At the end of the semester, only one of my fellow interns sent our supervisor a handwritten thank-you note. She was interested in continuing her internship in the summer and even went so far as to outline her goals if she were to be rehired. My boss was stunned and thankful for such a personal sign of appreciation. To no surprise, she was offered the summer position instantly.
“If the intern did a solid job with us and then takes the time to write a thank-you note, it tells me three things: 1) The individual valued the experience, 2) my team did a good job supporting the individual and 3) s/he hopes to stay connected. Managing people is not easy, and it is nice to receive recognition for the work put into the partnership,” said Sam Vaghar, executive director of the Millennium Campus Network.
“Being proactive by making phone calls and sending emails is essential. A handwritten note puts you in a league all your own. It signals your intent and commitment to the organization,” said Vaghar.
Upon completion of your internship or work experience, send your supervisor something personal to remind them of the great experience you had or explain how they helped you advance in your career. If you haven’t received a letter of recommendation, that’s also a great opportunity to gently remind them.
“If you want to make it in business and in life, you must share appreciation for those who support and mentor you,” said Vaghar.
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