As the semester comes to a close, many students, including myself are finishing off our semester long internships. While this is my first internship through the school, I think there are a few standard requirements to say goodbye to your internship and leave on a good note. Here’s my advice:
- Thank you note. This is pretty standard, but it is important that you thank your supervisor(s) for giving you this opportunity. A handwritten note given on the last day of your internship is always better than an email. You don’t want to just leave without something physically tangible. Whether your internship was amazing or not what you expected, you still learned what you liked and didn’t like. You got something out of it, whether it was this grand wealth of knowledge or information to contribute to your future best-selling novel about internships. Who knows?
- A gift. While a thank you note is pretty much required, a gift is not. It is though a very nice gesture to show your appreciation for your supervisor. Whether you’re getting Baked by Melissa cupcakes for the whole department, our an individual Crumb’s cupcake, show your appreciation for your higher ups.
- A letter of recommendation and/or reference. One of the most important things about an internship experience is what you learn and who you meet. Having a letter of recommendation that you can bring to future interviews is a massive asset. Ask your supervisor kindly for a letter of recommendation when you leave your internship rather than 6 months down the road and 24 hours before your interview. The same goes with a reference. Some supervisors may not want to be bothered, so check with your supervisor first and ask them what sort of communication they are okay with. Do they prefer a phone call or email? Be sure to ask!
- End on a good note. Many sayings derive from “you’re only as good as your last (insert word)”. This goes for internships too. Just because it’s your last day or week, that doesn’t mean you should slack off or not take on new projects. Give it your all as if it was your first week. Be sure to leave on a positive note so that #3 will turn out in your favor.
- Reflect on what you learned. Internships are all about the learning experience so reflect on what you gained from your semester. Decide what you want from your next internship and if you changed your career path or mindset compared to the beginning of your internship.
- Update your LinkedIn. This goes hand in hand with #5. While the internship is still fresh in your mind, update your LinkedIn with the type of assignments and tasks that you did at your internship. It’ll be much easier now when it’s fresh in your mind compared to a year from now because you finally reset your password!
Happy end of the semester!