Your Summer Internship Is Over, Now What?
Hooray to you for scoring a summer internship and seeing it to the end. You deserve a pat on the back, and not to mention, the glorious recommendation your internship supervisor will write you. But your summer is coming to an end and so is the internship, and you must now say your inevitable farewells and adieus.
Hopefully you have learned a great deal in your respective industry and have fostered both personal and professional relationships along the way. No matter how sad you may feel before leaving, don’t dwell over the fact that the internship is over, remember how far you have come from the first day and remember to follow through to the end. So before you go back to university, here are a 4 reminders to make sure you leave on the best of terms.
1. Send an appreciation card to your supervisor. While it may seem like something simple and traditional, you should always remember to thank them for their help. Sure they had you make copies, send out faxes, organize their desks, or even fetch coffee, but they selected you out of hundreds, maybe thousands of other potential interns. You’ve done so much for them, but they’ve also done so much for you. They deserve a thank you card, email, or maybe even a gift! Nothing big of course, but something to show that you care and appreciate them. You may have given them your summer time, but they gave you the opportunity to work and gain real life experience.
2. Update your résumé. This isn’t presumptuous, but necessary. Sure it only just ended, but you need to have all the information you learned fresh so you can update your résumé in the appropriate amount of time without having to remember or worse, fudge what you accomplished with your internship. Some people forget to update their résumés, which is a drastic mistake. You never know when you need to send it off so prepare ahead of time and don’t rush to fix it. Updating your résumé is key to success.
3. Write out a list or notes of your internship accomplishments, goals, skills learned, and contacts made. There’s always the traditional back-to-school “what did you do this summer” conversation so why not impress? Another time you may need to remember this is when going on interviews. Interviewers will ask you about that internship and what you gained from it. You don’t want to say just “real life experience” or “how to use a copy machine and fax”, but something more exciting like “how to write a acknowledgment order” or “updating an online events calendar on WordPress”. Remembering these skills and activities that became your daily tasks will impress your interviewer. Don’t let an entire summer or internship go to waste because you forgot the skills or can’t recollect the work.
4. Remember the skills you learned and continue to build on them. It doesn’t matter if the internship was relevant to your future career or not, but it is something that will help your future. Yes, you will impress future employers that you have the skills, but you will blow them away when you demonstrate you have continued to work on these skills on your own. If you choose to go back to your previous internship, they will be impressed as well and will value you further.
In short, don’t waste your summer with a mindless internship or just let it blow by. You worked hard for three months, and that will help you. Value the time you spent because others valued your time spent. Summer is over and your time there is over, but it will forever be remembered through your future successes.