Thursday, August 11th, 2011
Your summer internship is almost over. You learned a lot, met some great people, and thankfully — managed to have some fun. Job well done!
Well, not so fast. There are still some really important loose ends to tie up.
It’s great that you became a big part of the team during your eight weeks in the office. But what about six months from now when you need a reference or are looking for a job. Will the team remember you then?
Here’s our checklist of three things to do now to make sure you leave a lasting impression.
- Say Thank You: Write a note, send an email, or just flat out walk up to your boss and say thanks. You may feel eternally grateful for the opportunity you’ve been given, but your boss doesn’t know that unless you communicate it. Even if things didn’t shake out the way you had hoped at your internship, it’s still the right thing to do to say thanks.
- Ask for a Reference: Once upon a time, it was common for people to walk around people with actual letters of reference in hand when they applied for a job. You still see it sometimes (and boy is it impressive when you do!) but being a reference nowadays means anything from taking a phone call from a prospective employer who’s checking out a candidate to writing a paragraph on someone’s behalf on Linked In. Who knows what you’ll need down the line- but the important thing is to ask your boss if he or she would consider being a reference for you. As your needs develop, you can circle back with a more specific ask.
- Make a Plan to Stay in Touch: You would think these days it’s easier than ever to keep in touch. All you have to do is log into Facebook to see the latest news with your zillions of friends. But when it comes to staying connected to your boss — the person you might turn to for advice, for connections, or maybe even ask for a job, put some real effort behind staying connected. Before you walk out the door of your internship, make a mental note of all the ways you can really stay connected. Perhaps you can grab a coffee when you’re back in town over your winter break, or drop a note to check in once a month. It doesn’t matter what you do — it’s just more important that you do something.
Now it’s time to give yourself that pat on the back!