When you’re close to finishing an internship, ending on a high note should be one of your top priorities. Besides getting college credit, the whole point of doing an internship is to help you gain experience that can help you launch your career. With that in mind, you should evaluate the overall experience to determine how you can maximize your available opportunities.
Are there questions you need to ask or people you still need to talk to? If so, take action while you’re still working for the company. In addition to having gained insightful knowledge and firsthand experience, hopefully, you’ve met and made connections with people who are already working in your desired career field. Don’t miss out on the chance to solidify these relationships.
These folks can attest to your ability and potential and hopefully help you land a job in the future either directly or indirectly. Here are some other practical ways you can ensure that you’re getting the most from your internship when you leave.
Doing Your Best Work Right Up to the Last Day
The best way to make your mark is to put all of your efforts into your internship up to the very last day. Becoming a slacker the last few days or weeks of your internship will leave a bad impression of who you are and will cause the employer to question your work ethic in the long term. Last impressions are often the most vivid, and you want to leave the internship on a very high note. You will want to receive a good reference from the employer and who knows, maybe even a future job offer.
Asking for Honest Feedback on Your Performance
Getting feedback is essential to gaining an understanding of the things you can do to improve. If you have enjoyed your internship and you feel like you’ve been a valued member of the team, you may already know how your colleagues feel about you. If, on the other hand, you are not sure about your performance, you may want to ask for an assessment. Although this can be an uncomfortable situation, it’s important to know if there’s anything else you can do to help your prospects.
Expressing Geniune Gratitude for the Opportunity
Prior to the end of your internship, make it a point to go around and say goodbye and thank those who you’ve worked with over the course of your time with the company. There will undoubtedly be those that you’ve gotten along better with than others; it’s important to maintain professionalism to everyone who’s contributed to your learning over the summer. Taking this approach leaves the door open for future opportunities or even just to get a recommendation from your colleagues or superiors.
Maintaining Connections After Internship Ends
When your internship is over, touch base periodically to update the folks you worked with on your progress and to ask for their expertise. No matter what the field, professionals love the opportunity to help new talent get their feet off the ground.