The summer is flying by, which means summer internship season is coming to a close. As the summer internship season begins to cool down, many college students may be unsure how to navigate the experiences they gained toward their future endeavors. There are tons of benefits of a summer internship — gaining job experience, exploring various career paths, and building your resume. However, you may not know the many ways to utilize your summer internship experience post-graduation.
For the past few months, you’ve achieved numerous milestones and overcome obstacles during your internship. From expanding your skillset and professional network to gaining confidence, it is pertinent to make sure all your accomplishments do not go unnoticed. In doing so, you only sell yourself short.
It is also important to note that how you end your internship is just as important as how you started it. First impressions are essential, but your last impression can determine your eligibility to secure a full-time job post-graduation. So whether you are ending or planning to pursue a future internship, here are some tips to finish your internship on a positive note to leave a lasting impression.
- Wrap up your projects
Before completing your internship, it’s important to start creating a smooth transition for the next intern or employee. One way of doing this is by creating a clear line of communication with your supervisor regarding your work progress. Let them be aware of the tasks you will be leaving behind and what has yet to be accomplished. In doing so, you tie up all loose ends! Lastly, I would recommend leaving a letter or folder with tips to provide additional resources for the next candidate filling in your shoes.
- Update your resume
Before the fall semester starts, with your internship experience fresh in your mind, it’s important to update your resume. Your resume is a crucial way to market yourself for your future career. By updating your resume with the skills, knowledge, and abilities you gained during your internship, you will present yourself as a stronger candidate to your future employer.
- Find a Mentor
Another step you should take before the end of your internship is to seek out a mentor. There are many ways to find and connect with a mentor, including your trainer, co-worker, or supervisor. All you will need to do after finding a potential mentor is to provide clear expectations of your goals and aspirations. To establish rapport, you can either have Zoom or in-person coffee meetings to establish a relationship. Not only can your internship mentor provide guidance, but they can also provide advancement and network opportunities.
- Get a letter of recommendation
For any soon-to-be graduate, it is crucial during your internship to secure a letter of recommendation from your supervisor. Whether you plan to apply for full-time jobs or apply for graduate school, most hiring managers will want you to provide several references who can speak on your prior work experience. Start looking for these letters of recommendation early! Determine who can speak on your character the best by establishing relationships during your internship. Never assume someone will write you a recommendation on a whim.
- Schedule A Meeting with your supervisor
Before saying goodbye, it’s a good idea to schedule a final meeting with your supervisor to go over your progress and future relationship within the company. During this meeting, it’s also important to ask your supervisor about any future opportunities you can be involved in. Meeting with your supervisor before leaving may be intimidating, but it’s crucial to reaffirm the relationship you have.
- Say thank you
As you conclude your internship, think of some ways to thank your internship for giving you an opportunity to grow professionally. From a thank you letter to small gifts, thanking your company only shows your gratitude and reaffirms your work ethic. After all, it’s the thought that counts. Ultimately, by thanking everyone who supported you, you will leave a lasting impression.
- Reflect On your internship experience
Arguably, this is the most important step to take before ending your internship because to grow, you need to reflect. A huge component of undergrad is experiential learning. What better way to learn more about a potential career than through an internship? At the end of the internship, it is important to analyze your strengths and shortcomings. How did your internship aid you professionally? Personally? Ultimately, through reflection, you become stronger as an intern and individual.
- Highlight your experiences
Expand your network by highlighting your internship on social media platforms like Linkedin. Through posting your reflection and photo highlights to your Linkedin, you can gain new connections and attract potential future employers. By highlighting your experiences, you can connect and recognize your employer and employees as well.
- Stay in touch
As your internship comes to a close, it is important to maintain the relationships you made. Let your company know that your leaving isn’t a goodbye, but see you later. Make the effort to stay in contact with your employers through social media, emails, and in person. After all, your network is your net worth.