August 9, 2018

Career Advice

Internship Ending? Here are 5 Ways to Leave on a Positive Note

By: Leah Whetstone

It’s hard to believe that the summer is already winding down! With school, future internships, and job start-dates on the horizon, it’s time to think about ways to leave your summer internship on a high note. Here are 5 recommendations that will leave you with several strong connections for your professional journey and your supervisor satisfied with projects well done!

1. Go out to coffee
Grab coffee with your supervisor, a colleague, or another individual you met this summer that you’d like to stay in touch with. This allows for time to build a lasting relationship, ask career advice, and solicit feedback on your performance. Maintaining great relationships is pivotal to building strong networks and proves very helpful in long-term career advances. Before you leave the meeting, ask for their business card. (We strongly recommend offering to pay for coffee, as you asked for their limited time!)

2. Ask for references
If you’re looking to apply to another internship or job soon, then you’ll need references. Don’t be afraid to ask your supervisor or someone else you’ve established rapport with to speak on behalf of your performance or work product. Having several positive references to point to establishes credibility and speaks to your initiative, work ethic, and ability to grow professional relationships with superiors. Following this line of thinking, inquire if the person is comfortable writing a letter of recommendation for your next career move or for graduate school.

3. Finish projects that can be finished
We get it. Sometimes internship projects are ongoing. But to the best of your ability, seek to understand what projects can be finalized before you leave. Once you’ve established an understanding between you and your supervisor, outline a list of tasks to complete by the last day of your internship. Completing your list will leave both you and your supervisor happy about where your projects stand after your departure.

4. Solicit book recommendations
A book is a gift that keeps giving. Chances are, your new connections will have some pretty awesome book recommendations to read that will allow you to hone additional professional skills. We also have book recommendations! Email us at info@americasfuture.org with your interests, and we will send you a list of fun, practical, and professional book recommendations that align with your next career step.

5. Write thank you notes
In the age of Snapchat, Instagram, and memes, don’t take the handwritten thank you note for granted. It holds power because it shows that you took time to buy a card and stamps, sit down to write and think through a message, and then deliver the card in-person or via mail. And it’s fun to receive mail! Deliver a written thank you to a supervisor and anyone who may have impacted you in a positive way during your internship. You never know where that connection will lead.

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