As the summer is winding down to a close, likely so is your summer internship! Whether you are sad that you will be returning to a college schedule or happy that your 9-to-5 is finally through, there are definitely things to consider before your very last day. Here are a few things you should prioritize before your internship ends:
1. Make a list of your accomplishments!
Over the course of the summer and your day-to-day tasks, it’s easy to forget about everything that you’ve accomplished. However, the things that you did this summer are something worth reviewing! Think about it – you only had a short number of weeks to make an impact, and look at everything you’ve done and learned in just that time.
Take out a notebook (or on Word/Google Docs) and make a list of all of the things you’ve learned and accomplished. You’ll be able to see just how productive and rewarding your summer was. Plus, it’s great for your resume, which brings me to my next point…
2. Update your resume (and get someone to review it!)
You are in a prime position right now – you have so many active individuals in your respective industry right at your fingertips! All of the people you interacted with throughout the course of the summer had to apply and interview at your workplace as well, and if you’re looking for a job there they are a great resource to tell you what works and doesn’t work on your resume.
Add your new experience to your resume, and set up a meeting with your manager to review it. I did this at the suggestion of my own manager last summer, and it honestly changed the game for me. I am so proud of the way my resume looks now, and I would never have even considered changing it if not for reviewing it during my internship!
3. Prioritize networking
If you think about what life at school is like, how many working professionals do you interact with on a daily basis? I, for one, might interact with one or two people from my industry on a good day at school. That fact alone, in contrast to the eight or nine actual engineers that I talk with daily at work, made me realize how important it is to network!
Before your internship ends, set up a 1:1 with at least one person you’d like to get to know better – whether that’s learning about their own career path or figuring out if you like the industry they’re in, getting your name & face out there while achieving some personalized career advice is the perfect cap to your summer, in my opinion.
4. Tie out your summer projects before your internship ends
I almost forgot about this one, and honestly I’m kicking myself a little bit for it. You might have read this and thought “Well, duh”, but that’s definitely not what I thought after my last internship.
Everything will continue to go on after you leave, even if you’ve completed your piece of the project(s), so it’s important to ensure that your company and team can continually use your contributions. Hand off materials to the full-timers that will be taking over your projects – think about creating hand-outs/how-to-guides, or even just setting up meetings to go over what’s left. You don’t want all of your hard work to go to waste just because you didn’t make it sustainable!
5. Say thank you!
Finally, don’t forget to give thanks to everyone that helped you throughout the course of the summer. If there’s one thing that I have learned throughout my three years of college, it’s that people are vital in shaping your experiences, and if someone made your experience amazing I think it’s worth telling him or her.
I personally like to write thank you notes, but you can do this in your own way – whether that’s baking for your team or getting presents (your girl is broke after being abroad so this option is a no-go), show your appreciation in some way. They’ll definitely be grateful, but more importantly, you’ll be acknowledging the people that essentially shaped your summer.
Now I know this is a little late as many of you guys are already moving back into school, but I figured it would be worthwhile to put this up anyway. I hope you all had an amazing summer, and good luck in your next semester at school!