An opportunity to gather real world experience and a chance to build your professional network. As I am wrapping up my internship with NEXT for Women, I realize that not only did I gain valuable experience with concepts and ideas relevant to my field of study, but I also learned the importance of extensive research, gained experience in writing and editing, came to better understand the ever-evolving world of social media, and gained experience with how to professionally and appropriately communicate with fellow interns and more senior colleagues.
So after all the interning is done, what is the best way to end your experience? Here are my tips on how to professionally and successfully transition out of your internship and ensure that the time spent will serve you long term:
1. Write thank you notes
Write notes to your boss, supervisor, co-workers, or whoever made a positive impact on your experience. Mention specific experiences or take aways that you received from your time working with them.This is a professional and friendly way to leave a positive lasting impression (who knows – if a full-time opening arises in the future you could be the person they think of first given your thoroughness and good manners!).
2. Ask for a Reference Right Away
As your time with your employer is drawing to a close, ask your supervisor, boss, or fellow employees for a reference while your hard work and strengths are still fresh in their minds. This reference can be in the form of a formal letter or a recommendation on your LinkedIn Profile.
3. Stay in Touch
Even after your internship is over, follow up with your former colleagues now and then. They may be of great assistance if you are looking for a new job or are in need of a networking contact. Even if you don’t have a specific need, reach out to your former employers to share your gratitude for the experience they provided you and keep them updated on what you are doing now.