The school holidays have come and gone, and how did you spend yours? No, you didn’t take off on a backpacking trip across Europe, nor did you volunteer to teach impoverished children English in Nepal. Not you, you were all suited up in your brand new G2000 get-up, interning your little heart out at Raffles Place.
So you’ve been diligently showing up early every day, asking all the right questions and displaying all the initiative a boss could ever hope for. Good for you, but never forget that interns are a dime a dozen. If you want to be remembered for all the right things, when the last day of your internship rolls around, don’t forget to do the following.
Exchange contact details with everyone you got along with
So maybe you had countless engaging conversations in the pantry with that analyst who it terms out was your senior at university. Maybe your boss’s secretary saved your ass countless times. Maybe you hit it off with those employees in the accounts department during the company’s annual D&D.
These are all valuable contacts you should try to take with you when you leave. So make sure you pop by to say goodbye and exchange email addresses or WhatsApp numbers before you make your exit, and then make the effort to keep in touch every once in a while. People fade out of each other’s lives alarmingly quickly, and if you do nothing you will be forgotten along with all the other interns.
Write your bosses and mentors a thank you note
Listen up, special snowflake, as an intern there’s a good chance you’re actually not as useful as you think. While you might think you’re helping the company by offering your services in exchange for meagre intern pay, in many situations the company has to put in a ton of effort to teach an otherwise clueless intern.
It’s only polite to send your bosses, supervisors and/or mentors a thank you note when you leave (yes, even if they basically used you as their kopi boy). It also serves as a little reminder that hey, you exist.
Make a note of everything you did and learnt during your internship
You know what they say—if there are no photos, it didn’t happen. You might have picked up a boatload of valuable skills that will serve you well for the rest of your life. But uh, none of that will matter two years from now if you’ve conveniently forgotten everything you did during your internship. And believe me, when it’s time to return to real life—classes, exams, Zouk and so on, you will forget.
Before you leave, make a note of everything you did and learnt, as well as any details pertaining to projects you helped with. Include figures wherever possible—such as the value of a deal you worked on, or the sales quota your team managed to reach.
These notes will serve as a reminder of everything you’ve done, and also give you fodder for your resume when you decide to update it.
Update your resume
It’s a lot harder to update your resume two years after you undertook the internship than it is on your last day with the company, so do it right away.
Even if there isn’t an urgent need to sent out your resume at the moment, know that you’ll be able to remember a lot more and provide more convincing details if you include that paragraph about your internship right now.
Besides, you really never know when you’ll need to distribute your resume—even if you don’t intend to start job hunting until graduation’s on the horizon, your university might organise a job fair, you might need to apply for another internship or part-time stint, or you might be contacted by an interested employer. When that happens, you’ll be glad you don’t need to Google desperately to find out the full name of the company where you did your last internship.
What are some of your must-dos at the end of an internship? Tell us in the comments!