Before You Leave Your Internship…

The-Intership-Movie

So you’ve been interning with a company for the past few months and  your end date is coming up soon.  How are you going to finish strong and leave a lasting impression?  Shaking hands and saying thank you just won’t cut it.  If you really want to leave a positive mark, check out some of our suggestions:

Write It Down

Before you finish, we recommend writing down what you did during the course of your internship.  Even better, keep a journal (we love Evernote) when you begin and fill out the things you do as you do them.  This way, updating your resume will be a breeze and you won’t forget anything important. In fact, ideally you would update your resume and LinkedIn profile throughout your internship.  Letting others know what you’re up to professionally will create additional opportunities for you.

Connect on LinkedIn

If you don’t already have a LinkedIn profile,  we suggest you make one.  It is free, easy to use, and is a great tool you can use to develop your personal brand. Once you have your profile set up (if you didn’t already have one), feel free to connect with those you worked with.  This includes your fellow interns, boss, and anyone else you came into contact with during your time at the company.  We do not recommend sending out invitations to connect with people you have not come in contact with.  Just use your judgement. This part is key; stay in touch!  People love a quick update here and there.  So whether you’re going back to school or working somewhere else after your internship, let people know what you’ve been up to.  This will keep you in their thoughts and they might be able to help you down the road (and vice versa).

Make Thank You Cards

You don’t have to write them for everybody, but the more the merrier.  We especially recommend your boss, those you shared an office with, and anyone else who helped you out during your internship. What you write in the cards does not have to be complex.  A simple thank you and something you learned from your internship ought to do the trick.

Ask For a Performance Review

While a few companies give performance reviews to interns, most don’t.  If you voluntarily ask your boss for a performance review, we guarantee you’ll impress him/her.  This shows humility and a desire to learn, both of which are attractive qualities for employment.  Moreover, it is an excellent opportunity for personal and professional growth. Your boss may make the review formal or informal.  Regardless of the format, it is necessary to implement the feedback into your future performance.  We recommend asking for a performance review about a third of the way into your internship (assuming it’s 3-4 months in length).

Shadow Other Full-Time Employees

This may or may not be appropriate depending on where you are interning.  Always talk with your boss before asking to shadow someone.  Bring a note pad and a pen and take notes.  In our experience, shadowing lasts anywhere between 30 minutes to 2 hours.  When you are finished shadowing, ask if they know of anyone that would mind being shadowed.  Before you know it, you’ll have shadowed people in different departments and have a more wholistic view of the company (and even the industry your company is in).  Talk about networking!

Conclusion

Again, these things will really help you leave your internship on a high note.  Even if you didn’t enjoy your internship,  it is still wise to do these things.  You just never know whose path you might cross in the future. All this being said, nothing replaces hard work and a good attitude.  These suggestions are just the icing on the cake.

 

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