How to End Your Internship
By Lexie Brada
The end of an internship can be a daunting time. After all, you've just spent the last few months (or maybe even years) working hard to build up your skills and experience. But now it's time to move on to the next phase of your career. Here are a few tips to help you make a smooth transition.
- Transition Your Responsibilities
Before you leave, you should make sure to find a time to sit down with your supervisors for an off-boarding meeting. This meeting is important for a couple reasons. The first being that part of your final work may be helping transition your abilities or job responsibilities to someone else. It also reflects well and may give you a sense of closure to this time in your professional life. This means making sure you tie up any loose ends. Make sure all of your projects are complete and that your work space is clean and organized.
- Ask For Advice
While in the off-boarding meeting, ask your supervisors what you've accomplished over the course of your internship. Make sure you have a good understanding of what your responsibilities were and how well you fulfilled them. This can be helpful for understanding how far you’ve come or what you may still need to work on when this internship is done.
- Thank Your Supervisor & Co-Workers
Even if the internship wasn’t everything you hoped it would be and more, there is always knowledge to be found in everything we do. So, whether you loved your supervisor or not, thanking them is a good next step. You never know when you may need to reach out to them for professional letters of recommendation or help making connections at your next job. Be sure to thank your internship coordinator or supervisor for giving you the opportunity to learn and grow.
This is also important if you hope to continue your time in some capacity; this may be transferring to another department, turning the internship into a full-time job, or even discussing the possibility of coming back next summer. If this is the way you want to go, be sure to express your passion for the field or this job and highlight the positive influences you’ve made within the company. Making sure you are in good standing with your supervisor will make any of these paths easier if that’s what you’d like for the future.
You may also want to thank your co-workers for their help and support during your internship. They've taught you a lot and helped you to grow as a professional, so express your gratitude.
- See If You Can Keep In Touch
One of the most difficult but also vital parts of being a working professional is keeping connections and networking. An internship is a great place to cultivate some professional relationships. Foster relationships with mentors, colleagues, and other professionals - you never know when those connections will come in handy. These people can provide invaluable support and advice as you make your way through the job market. They may even have some leads on great opportunities that you wouldn't otherwise know about.
After taking the time to thank your supervisor and co-workers, ask if you can add them on LinkedIn. If you need letters of recommendation in the near future, this would be a good time to ask.
First, take some time to reflect on what you've accomplished over the course of your internship. What skills have you developed? What projects are you most proud of? What did you not get a chance to learn that you’d maybe like to sharpen at your next job or internship? What did you add to the company and what did you feel like you were given in return? What did you learn? What challenges did you face? What successes did you achieve?
This will not only help you to see how far you've come, but it will also give you some valuable insights into your own strengths and weaknesses.
This may also help you figure out your next career steps; what you need to round out your knowledge, or perhaps you feel ready to take a deeper, more professional plunge! Either way, being aware of what this internship did for you can be crucial to making the important next steps in your adventure.
Before you get to your next big thing, though, rest.
You deserve it.
Take a few days to unwind before your next job or class. This also gives some great space for reflecting, to make sure your feet are solidly in the direction you want them to go.
With these tips in mind, you're sure to land on your feet after your internship comes to an end. You are confident that you’re ending your internship on a high note and setting yourself up for future success. This is just the beginning of an exciting new chapter in your career!
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