How To Finish Your Internship Strong
Ending your internship soon? Here are some key tips to end off strong and maximize your chances of getting a return offer!
Arguably, how you finish an internship is more important than how you start it. Leaving your internship on good terms is important if you want to to create a lasting impression, and doing so is probably in your best interest. It can open up future employment with the company, and possibly even a return offer. Even if you're at a company you don't plan on continuing with, it's a good habit to build.
Finish Your Projects
If you're working on a project or task in your internship, make sure to finish it before your last day. A lot of times, interns don't end up finishing their projects, so being able to showcase your work and prove that you can complete a task. This can leave a lasting positive impression to your employers.
Make Sure Everyone Your Work with Knows You're Leaving
Make sure that everyone you are working with, both in and out of the organization, are aware of your end date and their new point of contact in your absence. This is very important in order to maintain good relationships with the people you worked with.
For example, if you curate blog posts for your internship, make sure to either publish every blog post that you're working on or email the contributors with the contact information of the person who will be absorbing your responsibilities. The last thing you want is a disgruntled partner who thought you were ignoring them.
Back Up Your Work (If Allowed) On A Personal Account
If your company gives you a company email, they will likely delete it when your internship is over. If you're allowed to, back up your projects and work on your personal account so you can refer back to it when you're applying to new jobs, remember what you did, keep in touch with partners, or just keep it as a memory.
Save the Contact Information of People You Want to Keep In Touch With
Internships are a great place to network and find mentors. Be sure to keep the emails of people you worked with and talked to in the internship, and try to follow up with them every so often. You can also ask them for referrals or career advice.
Send Thank You Notes
In the below drop down menus, there are templates for thank you letters that are specified by a staff member's role to you. Be sure to go beyond the template and add details and lessons learned from your internship, but try keeping it at 4-5 paragraphs and don't go over a page.
Managers and mentors will get longer and more thorough thank you notes because they worked closely with you. Make sure to be detailed, accurate, and authentic with this letter.
Staff that helped along the way are the people that weren't directly your supervisor, but held meetings with you, guided you through events, provided advice, data, etc. Sending them a shorter thank you letter is a nice gesture, so it doesn't hurt to show them some parting appreciation.
Fellow interns are also really important to keep in contact with, especially senior interns. Fellow interns are not your competition, they can be friends and your future colleagues. Getting close and staying close with fellow interns can be very helpful professionally too. If you ever need someone to review your resume, keep you posted on jobs, and be a friend throughout hard recruiting processes, fellow interns will be the ones you turn to.
"Dear (Their Name),
Thank you so much for being my (Their Role) this summer. This summer, working at (Company Name) as a (Intern Position) has been an amazing learning experience for me, and I will cherish it as I continue working on my career. You have taught me invaluable skills, such as (list skills), and I am grateful for your efforts to truly immerse me into the company.
I know training and mentoring an intern was not an easy task, so I am thankful for all the time you spent with me this summer. I have learned things I both expected and did not expect to learn under your guidance. The challenging, yet guided responsibilities you have me provided me the type of hands-on learning that I wouldn't receive in the classroom. Working on (Project) taught me (provide details on what you learned). Thank you for trusting me and giving me the ability to make an impact on the company. (Insert any projects, tasks, or events that were a highlight of your internship in this paragraph).
Below, I've attached my updated resume, which now includes my internship experience at (Company). Any critiques, suggestions, or improvements you may have on it would be welcome and appreciated.
Thank you again for providing me with this enriching internship, and going above and beyond to make this a rewarding experience. I hope to remain in touch with you and the rest of the staff.
Staff that Helped Along The Way Template
Dear (Staff Member's Name),
Thank you so much for being my (Their Role) this summer. This summer, working at (Company Name) as a (Intern Position) has been an amazing learning experience for me, and I will cherish it as I continue working on my career. You have taught me invaluable skills, such as (list skills), and I am grateful for your efforts to truly immerse me into the company. Thank you for (discuss something they did for you that added to your internship experience).
Thank you again for making my internship a rewarding experience. I hope to keep in touch.
This can be a lot more relaxed, and doesn't have to be a formal email. A simple slack message is enough. Be sure to share LinkedIn's, exchange phone numbers, emails, and social medias. Keep in touch with fellow interns, and be a helpful friend as they continue to apply to jobs and advance their careers.
Connect With Everyone on LinkedIn!
If you didn't do this at the beginning of your internship, be sure to do this at the end. These connections are important for keeping in touch and maintaining a good professional relationship. On top of that, they'll see your future job updates, and can become long-term mentors if they desire to.