Making the most of saying your internship

August 2016

With summer coming to an end and the school year starting, most seasonal interns are getting ready to trade in their briefcases for their well-worn backpacks and head back to class. For many summer interns, the chance to gain some professional experience will have proved to be an excellent way to prepare for their post-graduate futures. And while the looming school year might seem like the number one priority, there are several things interns should keep in mind as they prepare to say goodbye to their summer gigs. Check out the list below for some helpful tips on how to leave on the best terms.

1. Update Resumes
Updating a resume immediately following the end of a summer internship will not only be a good exercise in what will be a vital part of the future job application process, but also a way to have possible conversations with coworkers or supervisors who may be able to impart some final words of wisdom.

2. Reflect upon the experience
This will also allow interns to immediately consider skills acquired, goals accomplished, and professional contacts made, which will be helpful when it comes time to discuss the internship in future job interviews. A lot of time may pass before that happens, so making note of specific accomplishments and skills right away will benefit job seekers in the future.  

3. Network
Internships provide college students with the opportunity to forge relationships with professionals working in their desired field. While most interns have likely been able to network over the course of the summer, having meaningful final conversations with peers or supervisors before departing is a great way to gain insight into what it takes to land a job and even secure a reference or two. In addition to saving relevant contact information, adding coworkers on LinkedIn is a great way to keep in touch.

4. Express gratitude
Sending a note of appreciation to teammates and personally thanking a manager will go a long way for summer interns, and provides the opportunity to leave individuals at the organization with personal contact information in case they want to reach out after the internship is over.

5. Follow the company
Another great way to maintain visibility after the internship has come to a close is to follow the company’s website and social media channels. In addition to being able to learn about relevant news and changes within the organization, it is also a great way to search possible job openings.

While it can be easy for college students to quickly forget about their summer internships due to the chaos of the start of the new school year, following these simple steps will allow interns to maximize the experience and prepare for the future.