Taking Your Internship into the Future
If you made the most of your internship, then you are ready to turn your experience into a catalyst for your future career. Many firms and organizations turn to their intern pools to recruit for entry-level positions. You can capitalize on this trend, not only by doing an outstanding job throughout your internship, but by following through with the following steps after your internship is complete.
Keep in Touch: Shortly after you finish your internship, send thank-you notes to your supervisor, mentors, and any colleagues who went out of their way to enrich your experience. You might also consider sending a note to one of the firm's executives or someone in Human Resources who oversees the internship program. All of these people might be valuable contacts in the future and all deserve written thanks if you have enjoyed your internship and learned from your experience.
Assess Your Experience: While your internship experience is fresh in your mind, reflect on what you learned about yourself and the industry in which you worked. Evaluate the work environment and corporate culture. What do your conclusions tell you about your interest in the industry in which you worked or in the role that you played?
Update Your Paperwork: For your resume, craft a suitable paragraph that highlights your responsibilities and accomplishments as an intern. You can use some of your reflections as generated in the point above to steer you toward the duties that you most want to emphasize to future employers. If you need help integrating your new experience into your existing resume use printed and online resources to unify your draft. Also, write your mentor or supervisor and request a letter of recommendation. In your request, you should include your updated resume as well as a cover sheet that illuminates the kinds of assessments you have made about your experience. Give your recommender as much material and insight as you can as to what you hope he or she will write about. The more reflection and effort you put into your request for a letter of recommendation, the better your letter will be.
Pursue New Opportunities: Use your internship as a springboard for your next career move. If the company you worked with is not hiring at the moment or you want to pursue a related but not identical internship opportunity, don't be afraid to ask your former colleagues for helpful advice. You might be surprised at how willing they might be to provide you with contacts either at competing firms or with clients doing the kind of work you are interested in. Always follow through with people who offer you their time, and remember that if you prove lazy or inconsistent with follow-through that your actions will reflect poorly upon the person who is helping you out. Always act professionally and value the network of which you are a part.