Ending an internship can be a bittersweet relief, however cutting ties with your boss shouldn’t just end with a handshake goodbye. As your internship comes to a close it’s important that you take the necessary steps to make sure you get the most out of the experience, leave a good impression and network, network, network.
Meet With Your Supervisor
Don’t wait until the last minute. At least two weeks before the internship ends ask your supervisor if you can have a power lunch. Basically, you want to casually evaluate the experience together. Don’t just ask about your performance, ask for advice, ask about his or her’s own experience as an intern and how they got where they are. Get all the info you can! This will make you look good too. People who ask questions appear to be engaged, thoughtful and enthusiastic. This will also give you a chance to form a comfortable relationship that isn’t lost in fast-paced, professionalism.
Connect With Your Fellow Interns
I’ve had this notion beat into my head: “You never know who is going to end up where.” Your fellow interns are going to be your co-workers someday or important people in your field. You don’t have to be fake or use people to get what you want, but being friendly, helpful and compassionate can go a long way. Before your internship is over add your peers on Facebook. It’s simple, unobtrusive , not awkward and will keep you connected.
Politely Ask For A Reference
Written references are excellent and necessary when on the job hunt. Don’t be afraid to ask your supervisor for a written reference, (before the internship is over!), if they refuse then you definitely have something to talk about! The only reason they wouldn’t write a recommendation is if your performance is exceptionally bad which is something you need to know. If this is the case then refer to step 1: schedule a meeting and ask why.
If You Want Something, Don’t Be Afraid To Ask
If you want to extend your internship, continue participating in some way or are interested in learning more about another area of the company, don’t be afraid to ask. You may not get the answer you desired but you’re showing initiative and if it works out then you’ve effectively began to develop a post-internship relationship.
Send A Thank You E-mail/Card/Or Gift
Don’t just duck out without expressing gratitude. Sending a thank you email to those you’ve worked with will go along way. After leaving my last internship I left my co-workers a thank you card and a gift (Dior nail polish). Something small, even a cupcake, is a kind enough gesture for your co-workers to know you’ll go the extra mile and appreciate them.
LinkedIn everybody you’ve met at the company: interns, managers, supervisors. This will keep you connected and updated on where people go when they switch up jobs.
Follow-Up Post Internship
This one makes me the most uncomfortable because it’s like, um, I don’t see you anymore and we’re not really friends so how do I do this . . . The last thing you want is to only connect with previous employers when you need something from them. What was told to me, is to check in during holidays. A holiday is a great excuse to reach out to someone, wish them well and keep them in your thoughts.