As I drove into work this morning, it suddenly resonated with me that it’s the 19th of July. WHAT. That means a lot of things for different people, but for a gal like me whose internship is ending the 27th, it means I’m in the home-stretch of my real-world-experience endeavor. Of course, this revelation started me down a path of “have I done enoughs” and “what happens afters.” Then, I remembered I still had a solid week left. It’s not a lot, but recognizing that your time is limited can sometimes help to get your butt in gear and get things done while you still can. Maybe you still would like to shadow that guy on the 4th floor who seems to have the coolest job in the building. Maybe you’re scrambling to remember where you saved all of those articles you wrote up during your first week of work. From the sentimental to full potential, here are some of the things you need to do the last week of your internship (if you haven’t already.)
1. Shadow New People
By now, you and Emily in the neighboring cubicle have already started to develop your own lingo. Getting comfortable with where you work is great, but if you’re still craving exposure to other aspects of the company, ask your supervisor if it’s alright to spend a day in a part of the building you’re not familiar with. For example, if you’ve been doing a lot of editorial work for a magazine company, maybe spend a day or two in the graphics department and see what’s up. As I mentioned in a blog I wrote earlier this summer, watching other people work is a great way to gain insight in your field and get a feel for how different people work. If it’s one thing I’ve learned by having this job, it’s that versatility is key. The more areas of expertise you get familiar with, the better chance you have of getting hired. So go ahead: branch out and spend a day or two learning cool stuff that maybe you’d never think you could do with your college major. Just make sure you take a notepad and pen to write down new things you learn.
2. Organize Your Work
Internships are all about experience- experience that you’re going to want to have all over your resume and LinkedIn. Before you say your last goodbye, start compiling everything you’ve worked on so you can reference it in the future. If you have examples of the kind of work you did during your internship, make sure you can locate and hold on to them. Among some of the things I’m ‘archiving,’ so to speak, are:
-All of the articles I’ve ever written for any station (and a separate document with website links)
-Any graphics I’ve created for the websites (and screen shots if said graphic is displayed on a site)
-Copies of some of the excel sheets I had to update (just for reference)
-Emails from my supervisor or co-workers that congratulate me on a project or something I created
Obviously, this will change depending on what sort of work you’ve done. Some of this may seem like overkill, but it’s always important to document every thing you’ve done at your internship. It will come in handy when you need to tailor your resume for specific companies. Need some graphic design examples to show an employer? Pull out your documented graphics you ‘shopped at your internship! I have one rule for deciding what work you need to save or not: better safe than sorry.
3. Grab Lunch With Your Supervisor
Spending an hour with your boss outside of the work setting gives you both time to focus on having good conversation without sacrificing work time. Your supervisor is a wealth of information for so many things, it may be too much for me to list. Among some of the wonderful conversations I’ve had with mine are resume tips, tips on what type of entry-level jobs to go for, talks about transitions from college life to post-grad life, and the list goes on and on. Pick a day when you both are not too busy and use your lunch break to catch up. Just remember to keep it professional, but casual.
4. Procure Contact Info
Yes, the Internet is a beautiful thing- but don’t rely on it a year or two down the road when you suddenly need a recommendation from a co-worker you worked with at your internship. Simply put, you need to prepare for the unexpected. What if a co-worker moves jobs or doesn’t have a LinkedIn? The easiest way to ask a fellow employee’s info without seeming like you’re conducting some sort of journalistic investigation is by asking for a business card. Don’t just toss the cards into your purse, either; get creative and file them all away in a safe place. Feel free to put all the information in your phone, but again, if your cell always seems to want to take a swim in the toilet, you better have those cards tucked away.
5. Discuss the Future
The most important thing to remember about your internship is that while it’s never a guarantee you will end up landing a full-time job at the company, it is always a good move to reach out to former jobs as a resource. Of course, this is all contingent on the fact that you were a good intern, but let’s be real: you all are seeking out internship advice on Her Campus! There is no doubt in my mind you will excel wherever you’re hired.
There are different ways to broach the subject of the future, but they all depend on how far along you are in your college career. If you’re not graduating in the spring like I am (SO jealous, good GRIEF) then discuss the possibility of returning next summer. If you’re interning at a company close by your college, see if coming in once or twice a week during the semester is an option.
Now, if you’re an old person like me and are graduating, you have to focus on the post-grad future. Don’t come off as pushy, but ask your supervisor if they foresee any openings in the near future. If the answer to this question is a big fat ‘no,’ do NOT let that discourage you or shy away from keeping in touch with the company. As Kim and Kanye’s relationship is solid proof, life is unpredictable, my friends. You never know when a job or opportunity may come up. More importantly- as I mentioned earlier in this post- past supervisors and co-workers are excellent resources that can potentially point you to a company or business that is hiring. Even better? You may find that your supervisor is more than happy to write a letter of recommendation or even call. Let him or her know that you definitely plan on corresponding once you graduate, and give an email address that you will be contacting with so that he or she is not caught off guard.
What’s even more important than reaching out to your former supervisor when graduation or summer rolls around? Keeping in touch with them throughout the year! Whether you’ve developed a friendly, yet professional relationship or you’ve got a ‘young-grasshopper’ thing going on, it’s always good to reach out over the school months. I plan on talking to my supervisor throughout my last year- asking her how things are, asking for advice on putting the finishing touches on my resume, and so forth. Don't hesitate to keep in touch with a co-worker you learned a lot from.
6. Give Thanks
Your supervisor! That really nice secretary who always said hi to you! The dude you always made small talk with when you ran into in the kitchen to get coffee! All of these people deserve your thanks and warm wishes upon your farewell. Write a thank-you note to those whom you have worked closely with, and don’t forget to say goodbye to everyone you worked around. Make one last impression by showing that you’re grateful to have had the opportunity to spend a few months with the company.
I honestly cannot believe that almost eight weeks has gone by. Make the most of the last week of your internship, whenever that may be!