End Your Internship Without Ending the Networking

 

By: Jess Savarese, Vice President3805070_orig

Mid-August usually means a few things for the typical college student: eagerly anticipating the long-overdue reunion with friends, mentally preparing for the hectic fall semester and finishing those final days of a summer internship. For those who have just completed, or are about to complete, their summer internship, it’s important to remember that just because the internship is ending doesn’t mean the relationship with the supervisor should, too.

We have heard it time and time again – and will for years to come – that networking is key. Your supervisor has likely gained a few resourceful connections through their job, and if you take advantage of your networking skills, you can build connections just as strong.The first step is sending your supervisor a thank you card for the experience. A hand-written note goes a long way in showing your appreciation and it’s an easy way to let them know you look forward to staying in touch. There’s a likely chance you may want a letter of recommendation from them down the road and keeping an ongoing relationship can only strengthen what they’ll be able to say about your work qualifications.

As Intern Queen Lauren Berger reminds us with one of her helpful tips, you should follow up with your supervisor three times a year – every fall, spring and summer. This can be something as simple as sending an email to see how they’re doing while updating them on your career achievements to passing along a news story related to one of their projects. Showing that you’re thinking of them will help them think of you when they encounter opportunities you may be the perfect fit for.

If the internship was close to home, see if they would like to grab coffee sometime or offer to stop by the office when the time is best for them. My first internship was in my home city of Philadelphia, and every time I email my former supervisor she lets me know I’m more than welcome to visit anytime I’m in the area. This allows you to give a more in-depth update with what you’ve been up to, and it’s a fun chance to check out the new projects they’ve started since you were last there.

One of the easiest ways to stay in contact with your supervisor regularly is connecting on social media. Platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter are powerful resources for sharing achievements while growing your network, and having your supervisor as a connection will keep you updated with what they’re doing and who they’re following.

The lessons learned at your internship are sure to benefit you greatly in your future, and much of that is due, in part, to your supervisor. Always remember to thank them because your lifelong connection with them is just as important as the internship itself.

Image credit: guruacademicadvising.com

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