5 Steps to Wrapping up Your Summer Internship
If you are a career driven collegiate student, chances are that your summers are not typically spent by a pool or playing video games in your parents’ basement; rather, they are dedicated to building your resume- and what better way to do that than to intern for a company in your desired field? If your current title is “intern”, the last few weeks have hopefully consisted of learning, building professional relationships and proving why you will be a top candidate upon graduation (and not just going on coffee runs for everyone in the office). However, as August approaches, it is time to start thinking about the best way to wrap up the summer and leave a positive, professional impression. Sure, the thought of wrapping up your summer internship now may feel premature, but timing is of the essence and you will need to give yourself adequate time to complete each of the following steps.
Step 1: Request an evaluation.
Do not wait until the last day of your internship to ask for a formal evaluation from your supervisor. I repeat- DO NOT WAIT. It is your responsibility to request an evaluation from your supervisor and provide them with ample time to work a meeting with you into their schedule, as well as time to observe you and form thoughtful feedback. Taking the initiative to request an evaluation will show them maturity, responsibility and a desire to improve.
Step 2: Cleanup.
Your designated temporary work area should have remained pristine all summer; however, the last couple of weeks before you return to school should be used to take any personal belongings home and organize any clutter that may have accumulated. Your workspace should be left cleaner than you found it at the beginning of the summer.
Step 3: Connect.
In the past, the primary method of connecting at the end of an internship was exchanging phone numbers and email addresses. While exchanging this information is still an option, it should be paired with reaching out on LinkedIn. By connecting on LinkedIn, you can easily stay in touch with those you worked with over the summer. This connection also allows you to follow their careers, seek advice or even request recommendations. You never know when these connections could lead to future career opportunities.
Step 4: Say goodbye.
Even if you didn’t form any strong bonds with those you worked with over the summer, saying goodbye is a crucial part of completing your internship. The last thing that you want is for one of the team members you worked with to look up from their screen two months from now and ask what happened to “that one intern”. Rather than ghosting, make your final impression a positive one by writing the team that you worked alongside an email expressing gratitude for the opportunity to learn from them. For those that you worked closely with, send a separate email with specific examples of what you learned from them and how you plan on applying those skills in your future career. This is also your opportunity to ask if they would be willing to be a professional reference in the future, and possibly write you a recommendation on LinkedIn. Of course, these written goodbyes should all be accompanied with an in person farewell handshake.
Step 5: Check-in.
Even after you return to school, stay in contact with the people that you met while interning. Those who spent time showing you the ropes will appreciate hearing from you even after your internship is over. Instead of disappearing, reach out if you find any connections between your coursework and experiences as an intern, if you are seeking career advice, or just to update them on your post grad plans.
July isn’t over yet, so going back to school is probably the furthest thing from your mind, but now is the best time to start wrapping up your internship and working your way through these steps.