As August approaches, your summer vacation slowly dwindles, and so does the time you have left in your internship. Even though your internship is ending, it doesn’t mean that you can relax. In whatever role you’ve taken on, make sure to maintain your quality of work in order to wind down your summer internship successfully.
You may be asking yourself, why put in the extra effort? It’s just a summer internship, after all. However, this is a common mindset that will not serve you in the end. In fact, InternMatch’s Internship Report infographic indicates that 68.9% of college seniors have had at least one internship experience before graduation. But how many of those students are squeezing all the value out of the experience?
There are several reasons why it’s important to maintain your focus all throughout your internship. Among them include the professional work experiences you could miss out on if you slack at the end, and the unique networking opportunities that could slip through the cracks if your performance sags right before the finish line.
According to Forbes, the most successful interns treat their summer gigs like one long job interview. Don’t blow it at the end. Go out with a bang, not a whimper! Reap the benefits of your summer work by keeping your focus right to the end. Here are four tips for finishing your internship on a high note:
- Connect, connect, connect. It is never too early to start building your network. Your internship is a crucial period in which you can get to know employees from many departments. If you’re interested in a department outside of the one you’re working on, set up an informational interview with workers in that department to make new connections before you leave.After your internship, be sure to keep in touch with employees at your company. Your hiring manager isn’t the only person who you’ll want to be on good terms with, and you want to be perceived as a reliable candidate to everyone you’ve encountered. And, once the internship is over, make sure to follow up and send a thank-you note if anyone has helped you considerably.
- Ask for feedback. When your hiring manager hands you a project, you’re expected to put in a substantial amount of work. However, when you finish your work, this doesn’t mean that the task is over and done. Ensure that you’re receiving feedback on the items you’ve completed. A simple way to accomplish this is to keep track of the assignments you’ve worked on throughout your internship and ask for feedback.Then, after you receive constructive criticism and highlights on projects, make sure you get some face time with your manager for a holistic review of your performance. Specifically, this could include a conversation about how you’ve improved throughout your time at the company, what you still need to work on, how your career interests align with the company’s opportunities, and what you’ve gained from the internship. If there’s anything on your mind that you’d like feedback or advice on, ask before the internship is over so that it’s fresh in your manager’s mind.
- Keep an eye on the future. It’s so easy to give in to bad habits like procrastination and decreased productivity towards the end of an internship, but staying motivated will make a lasting impression on your employer. Since you’ll one day be looking to this employer for references, recommendations, or future job opportunities, keep your focus. CEO of InternQueen.com, Laura Berger, says that “Until the end of the internship, you need to put 100 percent effort forward.” Stay busy, but expand your work on current projects or volunteer for projects outside of your department.
- Strut your stuff. Internships are about creating opportunities, so it’s important to share what you’ve learned. Having all the experience in the world won’t help you if no one knows about it. According to a NACE study, 51.7% of interns wind up being hired by the company they interned with.If you’ve kept a detailed list of your duties on a weekly basis, writing an updated resume entry will be so much easier. Robin Reshwan of Business Insider states that “The best time to update your resume is when your current work is fresh in your mind. Leverage the professional contacts around you at work by asking for their advice as to what you should include regarding your summer work.” In your entry, make sure to write out the company’s full name, duration of the internship, your position’s name, and a detailed account of your impact and learning process.However, updating your resume alone is not enough. Your LinkedIn profile and your portfolio (if applicable) should be updated as well. Portfolios give evidence of your work and skill set and make the entries on your resume tangible.
Remember that the benefits of having an internship are multi-faceted, and will not only expand your skill set, but your connections as well. So make sure to tough it out and finish strong!
And if you need some additional guidance on assembling your resume post-internship, check out these free resume samples and examples, as well as formatting tools and guidance on how to write each section of your resume.
Reporting by Liwen Xu