You’re in the home stretch. You have two weeks left of your internship, and as you prepare to move back to school all you’ve got on your mind is that pesky morning class you signed up for twice a week and how in the world you are going to fit all your new clothes into your suitcase.
Wait a second. We said you’re in the home stretch, not the locker room. The game’s not over. Before you get too caught up in going back to school, let’s talk about something that comes first: ending your summer internship. What can you do in your last two weeks in the office to both leave a positive lasting impression on your boss and coworkers AND ensure that you milked your position for all it is worth?'
HC’s got you covered. We’ve gathered a list of 8 things you NEED to do before your internship ends that will allow you make the most of the hard work you put in to your job over the last few months.
Ask for Feedback on Your Performance
Sure, you may talk to your boss every morning. But have you ever asked her for detailed, honest feedback on your work? Throughout your internship you may have completed your tasks, but you may not have had the chance to assess how well you completed them. Ask your boss — in an email, before meeting face-to-face — in what ways you met her expectations, and how you could have done better. Discussing this with her at least two weeks before the end of your internship will give you time to make changes should they be necessary. Internships are meant to be learning experiences, so take advantage of that.
Hearing from your boss on howshe perceives your accomplishments can also teach you how to present your strengths to future employers. “Their perspective on your on-the-job performance may be invaluable in helping you prepare for future interviews,” says Alan Gross, CEO of Gross Strategic Marketing, a marketing company based in Jacksonville, Florida.
Set up Informational Interviews
Though your internship is short, you want to become as much a part of the company community as possible. One way to do this is to speak with your colleagues, who can offer you a wealth of knowledge on how to succeed in the field.
You can tap into your colleagues’ career knowledge by setting up short informational interviews, during which you can ask about their positions in the field and how they got there. These meetings can take place throughout the duration of your internship, but make sure to do them in the last two weeks if you haven’t already held them! The formality of the interviews is up to you — do you want to speak over coffee? Over lunch? Or would you rather meet in the office conference room? On interview day, be sure to bring a set of questions to ask, and don’t forget to take notes!
Whether you know it or not, your colleagues will be thrilled to help you out. “I can tell you that as someone who was once a volunteer and an intern, I know what it’s like and the work that is needed to climb the ladder! Thus, I am always happy to help an intern of mine in their own professional development, whether it be through explaining my job description or other tasks,” says Rebekkah Belferman, Communications Manager at Oakland Planning & Development Corporation in Pittsburgh, PA.
By conducting these interviews, you are presenting yourself to your colleagues as a prepared individual genuinely interested in the field, which, you guessed it — will make networking that much easier once you leave the office. “Showing interest in what people at the company do will keep you on their radar and make you stand out among other interns,” Her Campus Life editor Amanda First says. But remember: getting to know your coworkers isn’t just about networking. Talking to people in the industry who were in your position just a few years ago can provide you with invaluable career advice.