Congratulations! You have made it one step closer to experiencing life as a real-live human being. Yes, that’s correct—we are referring to the summer you spent as the intern.
This is a big step in any Collegiette’s life. Not only did you have to take the time to apply, interview, and well, actually receive the internship—but this could have also meant making moves to the big apple; living on your own in another new and sparkly city; and working with actual people that do ‘real’ people things. But whether you lived in a posh NYC pad looking over Central Park, or just parked it on your parents couch after each long day at work, being back at Emory does not mean you can cast away those long hours spent losing your tan in a filing room, or romping around the office presenting the marketing plan for the next big advertisement.
This is no time to worry loyal HC readers, because we are back for yet another school year and ready to help you write the chapter after the internship. So, before your jaw drops to the ground and you wander around completely lost, here are some easy guidelines of what should come next.
Sing their Praises: First and absolutely foremost, did you write your thank you notes yet??!! If not, stop reading and come back after! It looks best if you handwrite a little note (in your very best penmanship), to thank your boss or supervisor for the incredible opportunity you were given. Even if you were the only fabulous intern, sending a “thank you” could give you a leg up on the competition or just make your boss feel a little bit more appreciated. Your small efforts will be noticed and lead to an even better letter of recommendation and future career possibilities. It takes all of ten seconds to write a thank you note, stamp it, and drop it in a mailbox, so NO EXCUSES.
Update your files: You may have done all of that hard and possibly even daunting work this summer, but it won’t matter to anyone if there is no record of it. If you have yet to do so, update your resume.
Resumes very from person-to-person and employer-to-employer, but for the most part, the most recent activities go toward the top. Add the date that your position began and then several bullet points as to what it entailed. MAKE SURE you start those sentences off with action words that are far from boring and show your wide-ranging vocab (aka the thesaurus is your friend!).
Talk to the Career Center: Like many interns fresh out of that summer heat, you may have realized one of two things: you have absolutely no idea what you want to do with your life because the internship “just wasn’t for you”, OR (and what we hope), you absolutely loved every minute of the hard labor you performed and would give an arm (and a leg) to continue into that field.
Either way, you are definitely not alone. If you hated your job, which happens to many, do not fret. The Emory Career Center is there to help you through your confusion. Make an appointment and talk it out. They can give you new ideas or help you figure out how to apply the skills you learned this summer to a new position or industry.
And even if you loved your summer in the working world, the Career Center can give you professional advice and even more ideas of where to apply next—whether it be for another internship or a big time job.
Contact the Big Wigs: Just to make sure you have all your ducks in a row before you start applying all over again, ask the people you worked for if they would be comfortable writing you a good recommendation. Even if you do not know where you are applying, when it comes time to do so, you don’t want to be scrambling for that gold-plated letter stating how wonderful and amazingly fantastical you were. Also, you want the letter to be written when your display of sheer perfection (your internship experience) is fresh on their minds. Don’t wait to ask for the rec!
Don’t Be Forgettable: Even though we are sure your personality is anything but dull and drab, it is EXTREMELY important to maintain a connection with your workplace and/or boss. Yes, you worked for them for 3+ months, but so have many other people at many other times. If you want to be hired by the company, group, or corporation, or maybe just want a great letter of recommendation, continue bothering whomever you worked for as long as you see fit.
Now, we do not mean tell them that your uncle twice removed got re-married, or that your puppy had his fourth birthday—but keep them updated. Let them know what work you have done, what your semester was like, and anything that may be related to them or the workplace. You may have moved on for the time being, however you never know when these connections can come into play. You want to show your continued interest.
So what are you waiting for?? Get a move on because there is much to be done. Your road to getting hired (not fired) is just beginning. You have worked so hard up to this point, and why waste it?