During college, I had three 6 months internships, and one that I worked part-time at for 9 months during college. And for folks who have been following me for a while, you know that my first full-time job post graduation was one of my past internships!
I want to use my experiences to help you turn an internship into a full-time job or even just how to make the most out of your current internship (since building your network can help you land your next internship).
Since it is about halfway through the summer, here are 4 tips to make the most out of your current internship! (Or bookmark this blog post for later during a future internship).
1. Request Regular Feedback
Feedback will be important to your career at any stage, so getting comfortable asking for feedback while you are in an internship can be so helpful to your career trajectory. I have found that the best time to ask for feedback is immediately after you complete a task throughout your internship so that your work is fresh in their minds. Receiving feedback from many people on your team also will let you know what you can improve upon for future tasks or even for future internships.
I personally also recommend asking for a mid-cycle review (so for me about 3 months in for 6 month internship) if that doesn’t already exists. This review will give you on what you already do great and then things you can work on during the remainder of your internship and set you up for a possible full-time role!
Regular feedback also can help you work on your self-awareness which is important to emotional intelligence.
2. Build your Network and Keep in Touch
A common theme throughout my past posts is the importance of building your network and during an internship is a perfect time to make new connections for your network! Below is a sample email that you can use to ask for what I like to call a ‘coffee chat’ with a new connection to build your Network during the internship:
My name is Dani and I am currently an intern with the NAME OF GROUP group. I learned about your group from a past company post OR my colleague NAME recommended that I reach out to you BECAUSE OF THIS REASON OR SOMETHING YOU HAVE IN COMMON WITH THEM. Do you have 15 minutes to chat (specifying virtual or not depending on your situation) sometime in the next month?
Notice how I recommend a personalized message rather than a mass message, as sending a personalized message can go a long way!
If you have multiple years left in school, I definitely recommend sending an email at least once a year post the close of your internship to stay in contact if this is really a place you would want to work post-graduation. For content of this email, feel free to use the following ideas for these emails:
- Passing along an article they may like
- Letting them know how you are incorporating what you learned in the internship into your classes and projects
- Inquiring if they will be attending a future professional society event that you plan to attend
- Asking advice – especially if they went to the same school, there is a lot you may have in common, like class recommendations or college-specific opportunities
3. Prepare for the End of Your Internship
The end of your internship will be here quickly, so here are a few things you can start working on now to prepare for your last few days.
I recommend that you ask your manager if there is an opportunity to present a summary of your internship at an event. At most of my internships, I did about 10-15 minute presentation where I introduced myself, and then presented on my favorite projects I worked on and what I learned.
Another recommendation that will also help you reflect on your internship time is to construct what you plan to add to your resume about this experience and ask a few of those you have worked with to review these bullet points!
I also recommend that you send out a ‘last day’ email to the team that you worked with and include either your school or a professional email where they can contact you after the internship and to thank them for this awesome learning opportunity. Unlike the “coffee chat” email above, this can be a more general mass email to the full team thanking them for this opportunity and including an email address where you can be reached after the end of the internship.
4. Ask for What You Want
I know this one sounds obvious, but I needed this reminder when I was in your shoes: If you don’t ask for something, the answer is no because you didn’t ask!
As my 2nd internship was nearing the end, I asked my manager about continuing in a part-time role and they said yes! Going back to point 1, this is a much easier ask if you have been asking for regular feedback and at that time, I was getting generally positive feedback throughout my internship.
Working part-time and balancing coursework involved a good amount of communication as the days and times change each quarter among other things, so if you would like me to go into more detail about this in a future post, please let me know!
I hope these tips help you make the most of your current or future internship! Any questions? Feel free to leave a comment here or DM me on Instagram.
Are you in the Philadelphia area? If so, I definitely recommend checking out the following Job Board by Campus Philly: https://campusphilly.org/jobs-internships/find-a-job-internship/. They list internships, part-time, and full-time!