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By Elana Goodwin, Uloop
When it comes to internships, it is not just how you start but how you finish that matters and makes an impression in employers’ minds. That is why it is so important that your college student finish their internship strong, whether they enjoyed their time and responsibilities as an intern or not.
Though it may take some motivation on your part, here are some tips to impart to your student on how they can finish their internship strong.
Just because the end of the internship is close does not mean your student should slack off and not continue to focus on fulfilling their responsibilities and being a good intern. Remaining committed to completing their internship duties and really showing up is key, especially if your student is going to ask for a letter of recommendation before they leave or sit down with their supervisor to talk about their experience.
To finish their internship strong, they need to stay focused on their internship, and not already check out before their internship is actually over.
Before the internship is over, encourage your student to sit down with their supervisor to talk about their experience and receive feedback on their work over the internship period. It does not need to be overly formal, though that will depend on the relationship your student has with their supervisor, but it is an important part of your internship and it shows maturity and an eagerness to learn and progress.
It can be not only helpful to your student in future internships to know how they can improve and what they did well but also beneficial to the employer to know how the internship experience was for your student.
It will be easier for your student’s supervisor to write them a letter of recommendation when their accomplishments and time as an intern is fresher in their memory. Once your student has sat down with their boss and gotten feedback, they should ask if their boss would be willing to write them a letter of recommendation.
Even if your student does not really need that letter at the moment and instead will just need to have one down the line, it is still a good idea to get one right as the internship is ending so the supervisor can write more specifically about your student.
Asking for a recommendation letter is another way to finish the internship strong as it shows your student thinks ahead, values their time as an intern at the company, and shows good faith in their boss that they will endorse your student as a good worker.
Before your student’s internship is over, they should be certain to connect with their coworkers, co-interns, and other company employees on LinkedIn. Keeping in touch after the internship is over is key and your student should reach out and connect every six months or so, whether it is via email or LinkedIn to touch base.
You never know who might end up being a great connection to have when it comes time to look for a full-time job, so urge your student to check in every so often, in some way. Additionally, by being connected, your student can ask for skill endorsements on LinkedIn as well, which may help in the future. Connecting online as the internship is ending will assist your student in finishing the internship strong.
Say thank you. Even if your student did not enjoy their internship, they cannot say they did not gain anything from the experience and they should recognize that. Regardless of enjoyment, saying thank you should be a no-brainer. Your student should thank their supervisor, their coworkers, and anyone else they interacted with during their internship.
They may even want to write a physical thank-you note to their supervisor to show their appreciation and gratitude and give it to them on the last day of the internship. They do not necessarily need to write a thank-you note to each person they worked with, though that would be nice, but at the very least, they should write one for their boss. Being specific in their thank-you will also show that they truly valued their time as an intern and can pinpoint individual moments that really affected them during their internship. The note does not have to be long but handwritten and heartfelt is imperative and will help your student finish their internship strong and leave a lasting impression.
Finishing an internship in a good manner is so important as it is often how a person finishes that an employer will remember. Share these tips with your student as they finish their time as an intern so they can finish their internship strong.
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