Do These Things Before Your Internship Ends

Things to Do Before Your Internship Ends

So, you've spent your summer in the perfect internship. You've made great connections, learned useful life skills, and maybe even snagged a few credits to put towards your degree. Now you've only got a couple weeks left. You may be wondering, "Have I made the most of this?"

Here are a few ideas to make sure that you get as much as possible out of your internship before it ends.

Meet with Co-Workers/Superiors

While you'll most likely have some sort of meeting with your supervisor in your final days with the company you've interned with, don't let it end there. Try to set up a few minutes with several employees of the company, whether higher or lower, that you've interacted with in your time there. Ask for feedback on your performance (remember to take notes!), add them on LinkedIn, gather useful tips for pursuing your future career, and take a moment to listen to their stories (keep an eye out for useful nuggets of information that might help guide you later). These meetings should be a way for you to both learn about yourself and how you can improve, and a chance for you to form a positive connection that could serve both of you down the line.

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Get a Letter of Recommendation

Or secure the promise of one.

Getting a good recommendation from a prior employer is a great way to help you pursue graduate school and future jobs! If it seems that your superior was pleased with the work you accomplished, don't hesitate to ask if they'd be willing to write a letter of recommendation in the future. They know you'll be asking.

Make sure that you've taken any feedback they've given prior seriously, and responded actively throughout the conversation. The one thing you want to avoid while asking for a recommendation is making it look like that's all you were after in the first place.

Reflection 

This might be the most important part of the process. If you skip everything else, at least take time to do this.

After your internship has ended (but not too long after) set aside some time to reflect on the lessons you learned, the feedback you received, and really make some concrete goals for yourself that reflect those lessons. Take time to identify what you liked and what you didn't like. Where you struggled, and what came easily. All of these factors can help you narrow down what kind of working environment (and role) you'll ultimately want to strive towards.

Finally, take an afternoon to write a few emails to the people who impacted you the most throughout your internship, thanking them for what they've taught you, and possibly inviting them to connect with you regularly over coffee in the future.

These tips are all small things. But they're small things that enforce a big idea: that an internship isn't simply a "practice job." It's a chance for you to build lasting human connection, and to deepen your understanding of yourself, and what you want out of life. And I think that's a pretty exciting notion, don't you?

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