How to Make the Most of Your Internship

An intern is defined as an advanced student or recent graduate who undergoes supervised practical training. Summer internships are winding down as college students head back to school and dropping the word intern from their title, but the last day on the job doesn’t mean the last day of work. If you put in the work, an internship can help you even months after the fact.

Speaking as a graduate student about to enter the real-world workforce with two internships under my belt, I suggest a five simple steps to make the most out of your internship long after you leave.

  1. Ask for a performance review. Once your internship ends, you will most likely be looking for a job within the near future. Your supervisor’s feedback will allow you to note your strengths as well as your weaknesses. Take careful notes of what to improve upon as an employee.
  2. Write a detailed description of your responsibilities, work produced and projects and put it in your resume now. Do it immediately so you don’t forget what you did when you update your resume down the road.
  3. If possible, collect pieces of work/content that you produced while at your internship.  Be sure to ask permission before you copy or take anything from your organization or with the organization’s logo.
  4. Keep in contact with your supervisors and co-workers. They can be great resources for references, recommendation letters, your next internship or connections for future jobs.
  5. One internship does not mean only internship. Take internships at different size organizations to see if you like smaller, boutique companies or if you prefer bigger corporations. Try different positions within the same department to figure out your specialty.

In today’s world, internships are a necessity to compete for in-demand jobs. Internships indicate practical, applicable skills in the workforce beyond academia. For the best result from your internship, the steps after your last day are paramount. 



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