Things You Should Do Towards the End of Your Internship
You’ve learned important lessons, forged invaluable relationships and enjoyed yourself during your internship – it’s been fun! However, before you know it, the time for you to bid goodbye to your co-workers and bosses is only a few days away.
How do you draw your internship to a close gracefully and put your work experience to good use? How do you ensure you can make the most of the contacts you’ve made during your internship?
Fret not, here are five things you can do to ensure that you end your internship on the right note.
Reflect on your accomplishments and what you’ve learned
This is important both for your self-awareness and for future job applications. Take the time to think about your milestones and what you have done throughout your internship. These are great points to talk about with future potential employers during job interviews.
Write them down in detail before your internships ends so you can still check with your co-workers or fellow interns if there is anything that slipped your mind. Do remember to include these key points in your notes:
- What you worked on
- Who you worked with
- Training received
- Skills learned
Additionally, aim to make your description as detailed as possible. You may include notable names of people, projects, products, cases, training courses or software packages (whichever applicable) and any relevant numbers.
For instance, you can note down that you worked in a team of six or increased sales by 15 per cent. Detailed descriptions are useful as concrete examples and they often make you more believable and persuasive in your job applications.
Also, note any feedback you have received, especially praises! These can earn you brownie points if you mention them in your job application process as well.
Update your résumé and LinkedIn profile
After taking down notes of what you’ve done and achieved during your internship, it’s time to make things official by updating your résumé and LinkedIn profile. Try to do this while everything is still fresh in your mind for you to accurately transfer what you wrote in your notes onto your résumé and LinkedIn profile.
If résumé-writing is new to you, you may find some useful tips and advice here.
When updating your LinkedIn profile, do make your updates on LinkedIn public so that you can increase your visibility online. Besides, you deserve some attention for all the accomplishments you’ve achieved. More importantly, you are making recruiters out there on LinkedIn aware of your work experience.
Confirm your internship employer as a referee
Most job applications require applicants to state details of their referees. While you are still interning, don’t forget to check if your employer is willing to provide a reference for you for future jobs or internships.
Confirm with your line manager or the HR manager if it is okay for you to add them to your CV as a referee and if they are comfortable with providing their contact details when the time comes. To be safe, you can also ask them for a letter of recommendation.
Do take into consideration that your managers may have to find the time to write one for you so, it’s best for you to request for the letter well in advance before your internship ends.
In addition, you may also request for them to leave you a recommendation on your LinkedIn profile.
Follow up on suggestions
If your colleagues have made suggestions that could help you progress in your career, for instance, contacts that you could get in touch with or some things you should read up on – it’s time to get to it!
Your window opportunity of following up on new contacts shrinks every passing day towards the end of your internship. Introducing yourself to someone by saying “I met Jane Doe a year ago and she suggested I get in touch” would not reflect well on you.
Although background reading may not be quite as pressing, it can be a thoughtful gesture as well as a good excuse to get back in touch with a soon-to-be-ex-colleague and say you found it helpful.
Keeping in touch
Before you leave, think about who you would want to stay in touch with. They could be colleagues who have helped you, or might be willing to do so in the future (always think long term!). Ask them if they would like to stay in contact. If they are, you can exchange email addresses and/or connect via LinkedIn.
Once you’re done with your internship, you may get busy very quickly with school or job-hunting, and may eventually fail to keep in touch. Do make a concrete plan to follow through your commitment to avoid this.
To make things easier and more efficient, you can create a group email list of the people you requested to keep in contact with during your internship.
Instead of dropping them an email only when you want something (which can reflect badly on you), make an effort to check in with them from time to time. It will show your sincerity, and it doesn’t hurt to refresh their memory of you too!