It’s party time because you’ve almost made it through your summer internship! You’ve learned new things and grown professionally. You’ve become a significant part of the team. Whether you are sad to skedaddle or ready to roll, how you leave is just as important as how you arrived. Here are some tips for wrapping up your internship in a professional manner! What will they do without you?
Internships are like swimming in the kiddie pool. It’s the same water the professional swimmers use, only it’s specifically constructed for learning. In other words, internships are the time to test the waters and even pick up some new strokes. After “splashing around,” perhaps you know that you are in the right area, or maybe you need to explore another career path.
Make a list and reflect on things you liked about your experience and things you didn’t. What did the experience teach you about your own values and expectations, weaknesses and strengths? Taking the time to do a self-reflection will reveal how much you’ve grown. This will also help with putting things into perspective for future interviews.
As the unforgettable intern you are, make it a point to have one last conversation with your supervisor. You’ve reflected on your strengths and weaknesses and you know the valuable contributions you’ve made; now is the time to discuss these with your supervisor in the form of an exit interview.
As a framework, come into the meeting prepared to talk about your key quantifiable contributions as well as what you’ve learned, what you wish you had learned and what obstacles you’ve faced. This valuable feedback will help improve the program for future interns. This is also the time to get constructive feedback about areas of strength and improvement, which will further prepare you for the world of work. Also, touching base on the status of outgoing projects will help transfer your tasks to the next intern.
- Stay Connected
Your internship is your networking gold mine! You’ve interacted with other departments and have gained wisdom from mentors. Who knows your outstanding work better than your current supervisor? Not to mention, they have their own connections and networks.
With technology, it is easier to hold on to these treasured relationships. LinkedIn is a powerful platform that allows you to connect and, more importantly interact, with one click. Emailing your boss relevant articles of interest or major life events every few months or tweeting/retweeting will make sure you are remembered.
- Say Thank You
As more millennials are recognizing the importance of internships to future career success, it is becoming more competitive to find them. Yet, you were chosen! You’re walking away with real life experience and connections that your program leaders helped provide. Be sure to show appreciation to your team and anyone who has impacted your learning experience in your time there.
The worst thing that can happen is that all of your awesomeness becomes undone because you didn’t carry out a proper, professional exit. Go out like the unforgettable intern you are. Better yet, go out like a boss!