Summer’s winding down, as is your summer internship. Before it all comes to an end, be sure that those 6 to 8 weeks weren’t wasted on coffee runs and listening to Pandora. In order to do so, try these suggestions on how to get the best return on your internship.
- Gather contact information from fellow interns and supervisors to stay in touch.
Both coworkers and supervisors can be a valued asset in the future if you actually keep in touch. Several internships are comprised of young employees who reside in various parts of the country. They can turn into great friends and can serve as an addition to your professional network, providing insight into their local economy. Supervisors offer wisdom and can lead you in the direction to a future job or advice on how to land a future job.
- Ask your supervisor if there’s any room for mobility or full time positions post graduation.
If you’re not a rising senior, don’t be afraid to inquire about the possibility of interning for next summer or an upcoming school break. If you’ve left a great impression by being a sharp and reliable worker, chances are that the company could and would use you for another internship that could turn into a full time position.
- Volunteer for extra work.
Most interns are getting lazy and jaded as summer gradually ends. Stay motivated and outshine your competition by showing you are focused on work and not on the end of summer and the final happy hour before every goes their separate ways. This will separate you from the average intern and allow your supervisor to see you as a potential full time employee.
- Ask your supervisor if they’d be willing to potentially provide a future recommendation.
Assuming that you’ve made a good impression on your supervisor, be confident to ask them if they could be a potential recommendation either for graduate school or for another internship that you may apply for next school break.
- Talk to your supervisor about how they started in their career and ask for advice on how you could get started.
Oftentimes, people love to be reminded about their success. As an intern, remind your supervisor of how they became successful by initiating a conversation (on a break or an appropriate downtime at work) and ask about how they landed into the job they’re working. If your supervisor works in a job that you are considering, you’ll be aware of a tangible pathway to reach your goals. If your supervisor’s job is not exactly your ideal career, you’ll be able to understand how young people enter into the workforce and thus, have realistic expectations of how you should approach the workforce.
- Send your supervisor intriguing emails that are related to the industry involved.
A great and powerful trick in a corporate environment is to send your team, including your supervisor or manager, an interesting article related to your field. This shows that you are passionate about the industry and that you stay abreast of news, a quality that several managers and/or supervisors fear young people lack when entering the workforce.
- Suggest how to incorporate social media or another technology into business operations.
One of the best things about being an intern is that you tend to provide a fresh outlook on a job and industry. Because many young people grew up in the age of social media and technological advances, you bring tricks to the workforce that many veteran workers may not be aware of. By teaching social media and/or technological practices that may come natural to you could allow business to grow in ways that management may have never imagined. Such effort can increase your chances of being remembered by your boss and/or other pertinent employees for future employment.
- Write a thank-you letter to your boss indicating how you enjoyed working with the company and that you learned a lot.
Bosses/supervisors are oftentimes bogged down by the daily pressures of an office, either from being chastised by clients or higher leadership. Break that cycle for them and spread joy to their day by complimenting their leadership skills and thanking them for an opportunity to develop your own leadership skills.
- Coordinate a happy hour (if you’re over 21) or dinner for fellow interns and management as thanks for their time and work.
By coordinating a group event, it shows that you are comfortable in social environments, a quality that is heavily sought out in several work places. In addition, by coordinating a group event, you’ll bring great energy to the group while also leaving a lasting impression that you’re a team player and that you take initiative.
- Offer constructive feedback on the internship program.
In addition to writing a thank you letter to your boss, also offer constructive feedback on how the internship program could improve. Start your feedback by highlighting an aspect of the program that you truly enjoyed and found beneficial. Then, include an area of improvement to the internship program such as having management offer leadership training or specialized training to interns. With many new internship programs, companies are figuring out how to best implement a program that is mutually beneficial to the company and the intern. By respectfully offering your opinion, you’re able to help the company improve future processes and leave a positive impression on your supervisor and/or manager that you’re attentive and analytical.