Internships can be crucial in developing new skills and understanding the world of work. As your summer internship wraps up, now is a great time to reflect on your experience and maintain the connections you made. Here are four things to do as you complete your internship and prepare for your next search.
Say thank you and stay connected
A great way to finish your internship is to write a thank-you note to your supervisor and anyone else who influenced your experience. Show your appreciation by writing a handwritten letter instead of a text or email. Include a story highlighting your favorite experience and share what you learned from them. Gestures like this can make a lasting impression on your former co-workers. It shows you valued your time with them and everything you learned.
Once the letter is in the mail, start connecting with them on LinkedIn. You never know who may have an opportunity for you down the road.
Take inventory of your skills
Internships are opportunities to learn about yourself and the demands of the industry you want to work in. As your internship wraps up, take note of the skills you used in your role. Consider both non-technical skills like communication and time management, and the technical skills that are specific to your industry.
Reflect on the skills that helped you succeed and the areas that you found difficult to excel in. By defining what you’re good at, you can better relate your skills and expertise to future employers in cover letters and interviews. By recognizing areas for improvement, you can challenge yourself to develop and accomplish new goals.
Update your resume
It’s best to update your resume when everything is still fresh in your mind. Read through your job description and highlight things you enjoyed doing. Then reflect on projects that you worked on. Draft a few key accomplishments to add to your resume that are relevant to your future career goals. If you can quantify your accomplishment (for example - “increased social media following by 23%”), even better!
Prepare for your next internship or job search
With a fresh perspective on your accomplishments and vision for your future goals, you might feel motivated to gain more real-world experience. There will be opportunities to connect with potential employers throughout the fall semester at various career fairs and events.
Career development advisors can help you use your recent internship experience to prepare for your next search - whether it’s practicing your elevator pitch or writing about your accomplishments in application materials. Career Services is open for some limited in-person visits, or virtual visits via Zoom, phone or LiveChat on the Career Services website Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Learn more about virtual appointments and drop-in hours.