The end of summer marks a significant milestone for college students who have recently completed their internship. Whether you were a rising junior or senior, this college summer internship may have provided you with valuable opportunities to learn new skills, collaborate with colleagues, and gain exposure to the real-world dynamics of your chosen field. Or maybe the experience was less than what was anticipated. You may have sorted a database, filed papers, or done mundane tasks. These tasks may not feel important but you contributed to the organization’s success.
You want to reflect on this experience and think about how to leverage the skills acquired so you can transfer them to future roles.
Before you leave, here are 3 tips to position yourself for future opportunities:
Self-assessment. What did you learn from this experience? What new skills were acquired? Consider new skills that you learned, what you observed, or any measurable results that you helped to impact during your time. Write these down and incorporate them into your resume.
Manager Feedback. Many interns think they did a great job but are not sure if their manager agrees. Schedule a time (at least 20 minutes) to meet with your manager and ask for feedback. When meeting you should first share your self-assessment and performance results, and then ask if you met their expectations. Here are some questions to ask:
What did I do well? Where could I have improved?
What skills do you think I learned? What skills should I try to acquire?
Is there an opportunity to be considered for a full-time role? Would you be a referral for me?
What other advice do you have for me going forward?
Maintain Your Network. You met other colleagues or may have partnered with others on a project. Before leaving, thank these individuals for the opportunity to work with them – both verbally and with a written thank you note. Ask if you can stay in touch and have them serve as a mentor. Connect with managers, colleagues, and other interns on LinkedIn.
Internships go beyond merely padding your college resume; they offer real-world experiences that can help you gain clarity on your career path. Whether your internship exceeded expectations or fell short of them, the insights gained will undoubtedly guide your future decisions.
At Next Great Step, we are dedicated to helping students and graduates secure internships and first jobs. If you want to learn more about how we can assist you in your career journey, we’d love to connect. Let’s Talk or Call Us at 973-577-6161.
Congratulations on completing your internship, and best of luck as you embark on the next great step in your career!”