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Internship’s over, now what?

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At the end of an internship it’s a good idea to look back and reflect on what you learned from it.





You are approaching the final stretch of your summer internship, now what? At the end of an internship it’s good to look back, reflect and make a final long-lasting impression on your coworkers and mentors. Here are a few steps to take during your last week of an internship.





Reflect


You have been at this company for probably three to six weeks and have likely contributed in many ways. Not all internships are going to be wonderful experiences, but you can learn from all of them. Taking time to look back and reflect on the skills you’ve gained and what you have accomplished. Add it to your curriculum vitae while everything is still fresh in your mind.





Jengyee Liang, public speaker and author of HELLO, REAL WORLD! A Student’s Approach to Great Internships, Co-ops, And Entry Level Positions says what you draw on from the internship depends largely on what kind of an experience you had.





“If it wasn’t a good one, you’ll have a lot of lessons for how to improve the situation next time. If it was a great one, you may build on it by trying to get a full-time offer with this company and continuing your assignment. Just remember, no experience is a waste even though sometimes it feels that way at first.”





Ask for Feedback


Asking for feedback from your boss is a sign of maturity. It shows you are willing to take criticism in order to learn and grow. Arrange a time to sit down and have an informal discussion about your work and your progress.





“Feedback about your performance is the most valuable information you can get from an internship. If it’s not too late, ask for two: Ask for a midway and final performance evaluation. Companies should have generic forms for this already. Have your boss fill it out, and then sit down with him/her to review the responses,” suggests Liang





Also come in with a list of projects and tasks you have completed and contributed towards. Make sure and stress them during the conversation. If the feedback is generally good this is a good time to ask for a reference.





Say thanks


Find a unique way to thank your coworkers for their help and guidance. Usually bringing in a treat like a cake and a card should suffice, this is also a chance to be creative and thoughtful.





“Keep it positive. Make the rounds of thank you’s and tidy your area. Summarize work assignments so that others can take over where you left off,” says Liang.





This is also a good time to pass e-mails and numbers to keep in contact.





Remember you make your experience at your internship what it is. Don’t wait for assignments, ask to work on projects that interest you and find a way to put your unique fresh perspective to work.





“My philosophy is that young professionals have the power to influence their careers, and they can ensure a worthwhile experience by taking certain actions,” Liang says. “Never leave that responsibility to (or expect it from) your employer or boss, or you may be very disappointed as I was until I learned to take control of my own career.”





For more visit www.hellorealworld.com.



kgosyne@yahoo.ca

 
 
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