It’s mid-August and many summer internships are starting to wrap up as the fall semester approaches. Internships are probably a college student’s best resource for finding a job after college. Keeping in touch will not only increase your chances of hearing about job openings, but you will also want to use your mentors as references. Here’s some advice on saying goodbye and keeping in touch.
1. Ask for a performance report.
When your boss isn’t too busy, ask him or her for ten minutes to sit down together. Ask them to tell you what areas you excelled in and where you could use improvement. Ask them for recommendations about classes to take or other steps you could take to further your understanding of the field.
If you don’t know already, it’s also good to find out about your mentors’ career paths. Ask them how they got their jobs and what strategies worked for them.
2. Write thank you notes.
It’s really as simple as it sounds. Be sure to hand-write each note and say something personal.
3. Remember your peers and your online network.
While you may not want to friend your boss on Facebook, consider finding them on LinkedIn. Make sure you have contact info for fellow interns. They’ll be in the same job-hunting position as you, and it’s great to have some one to share advice and experiences.
4. Offer to help.
If there are any small projects that you can continue to work on after you leave, offer to help out. For example, if you work for an online publication, offer to write an occasional blog post during the school year.
5. Stay in touch.
Believe it or not, the people you intern under will want to hear about your progress. Send an occasional email and update them on anything you’re doing that’s related to the work you did at your internship. It’s also nice to drop a note if you hear any news about the organization you interned with.
Ask your internship supervisors if you can use them as a reference, don’t give out names without their permission. You should also let him or her know whenever you give out his or her contact information. Not only will your supervisor know to expect a call, it’s also a good way to keep them clued in about the kinds of jobs you would like to have.
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