Two weeks ago, my internship with Green Philly—an online publication that connects Philadelphians to sustainable solutions—came to an end. As an Editorial Intern, I spent my summer crafting stories that ranged from the effects of excess single-use plastic during the pandemic to profiles on sustainably-minded local leaders.
While I received a lot of guidance and writing advice from my boss, I eventually realized that there was one skill I would have to navigate on my own—learning to properly exit the organization once the role concluded. This was my first summer internship, and I had never been instructed on how to convey my appreciation for an incredible opportunity with personal and professional flair.
Luckily, a quick Google search helped me compile a list of things every student should do before (or soon after) completing an internship. If you held a particularly rewarding position this summer, here are actions that will help you leave your new professional relationships on a positive note.
- Connect on Linkedin.
Send friend requests on Linkedin to your boss and colleagues. It’s a great way to keep in contact, and the connections might come in handy when it’s time to search for a job in your chosen field.
- Write a thank-you note.
If you have the address of your employer, send a hand-written note to express your gratitude. Detail your favorite story, experience, or takeaway, and conclude the letter by sharing what you learned from them. They’ll be impressed by your professionalism, and you’ll be regarded as an exceptional team member.
- Meet or correspond with your leader to discuss performance.
Set up a Zoom call to discuss your performance with your internship leader. This is a perfect opportunity to ask about your strengths, shortcomings, and progress over the course over the summer. This feedback is valuable, as it will grant you the insight you need to be an even better employee in the future.
- Update your resume.
Update your resume and detail new accomplishments. Be sure to incorporate numbers, statistics, and concrete examples of how you positively influenced the organization or company.
- Take note of the skills you learned.
Jotting down newly acquired skills and accomplishments was the most productive activity I engaged in after my internship ended. I noted soft skills, technical skills, Google Analytics data related to my articles, and even broad lessons about what it means to work in the journalism world. No matter the field you’re hoping to work in, setting aside time for documentation and self-reflection will allow you to identify the skills you should further develop.