Things You Should Do Before You Leave Your Internship

By Rebecca Sloane (Hobart and William Smith Colleges ‘17)

With intern season winding down, it’s time to think of how to make most of your last few weeks. At this point in the job you’ve become pretty familiar with how the job works, the people you work with, and who you might want to keep in touch with after the school year begins.

For those of you who are getting ready to head into senior year, you might want to start thinking about whether this job is something you could see yourself coming back to after you graduate. Here are some tips to ensure the final weeks at your internship are spent productively.

Are business cards still a thing?

Yes, business cards are still very much in style. Actually, they’re a great way to keep in contact with some of the people you’ve been working with. Collecting business cards from some of your closest colleagues is always a good idea before you leave on your last day.

Not only does it show the person that you took the initiative to try and stay in touch, but it also gives you the information you need on the person to reach out again when the time comes to be applying for jobs or next year’s internship. 

 Connections are everything.

Aside from the colleagues you’ve been working with, you’ve probably also gotten to know employees who are a little higher up in the food chain. Not only do these people have a little bit more power in the company, they also might have some good connections outside of the office that could come in handy in the future.

In these last few weeks, solidify your connections to these people and try to casually talk about your future with them, even if it’s a brief conversation. You never know, they may offer up their help in your future job search.

Channel your inner Leslie Knope.

With every internship, comes a new supervisor who acts as your mother or father during the months of your internship. Usually this person helps you through every struggle, yells at you when you’ve working over hours and yells at other employees when they give you too much bitch work. As an act of gratitude, it’s always a good idea to get this person a small present before you leave on your last day with a handwritten note to say thank you.

Obviously it doesn’t have to be anything extravagant. A bottle of wine or a box of chocolates will suffice. This is a great way to make a good and memorable impression on somebody who really mattered to you all summer.

 Show your commitment all the way to the end.

In these last few weeks you want to make sure to show your supervisor and the people you work with that you were (and still are!) really dedicated to the job. This might mean staying late a few days in the upcoming weeks or coming in an hour early and starting your work.

It might even mean taking on a few extra projects to help your coworkers when they’re overwhelmed. Take the extra step to leave your with a good impression before you leave for the year.

This is where that whole having a good handshake thing comes in.

By now you’ve met most of the people you work with, but there are still a few important people who you’ve seen around the office and haven’t met yet. If possible, try to meet them/somehow to make a good impression.

You can ask a close colleague to introduce you, or if they seem approachable go over to their desk or just happen to run into them in the kitchen. This way, if they happen to be part of a conversation regarding hiring you they can speak about you, or they may have some good connections that could come in handy.

 Don’t forget to celebrate.

As the summer comes to a close, make sure you and your intern squad celebrate your successful summer and the hard work you all put into your internships. Go out to happy hour or get a good celebratory dinner together and cheers with a cold beer to the end of your summer internship.

But, before you head out the door on your last day, don’t forget to say goodbye to the people who mattered the most and helped you along the way this summer.



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