The time will come to draw the curtain on your internship journey. Closing out your internship is as important as the start. The individuals you collaborate with during your internship can become valuable professional references for your future career endeavours, whether it’s landing a job or pursuing further education. Some prospective employers may even contact your internship organisation for references before hiring you.
Here are some essential steps to take as you conclude your internship:
- Notify Your Employer and Supervisors Early: Don’t wait until the final days of your internship to inform your supervisor and employer about your departure. It’s advisable to give them notice, perhaps a month before your internship ends. This proactive approach will help you obtain comments and signatures for your internship logbook or report from your workplace and institution without a last-minute rush.
- Prepare Your Internship Report: If you’ve been provided with a logbook, make sure to fill it regularly, ideally on a daily basis. This will simplify the process of writing your internship report, sparing you the stress of recalling events and making things up. Keeping a journal or using a note-taking app can be immensely helpful for referencing when crafting your internship report. If possible, include evidence, such as photos of your work or projects, in your report. Apply the lessons on report writing to enhance the quality of your report.
- Verify Due Processes: Ensure you confirm whether there are any final report, evaluation, or paperwork requirements to be submitted to the organisation or institution. Some organisations may revoke certain employee or internship privileges you had, such as access to information, resources, or your status on their payroll. Check with your institution for specific procedures.
- Show Gratitude: Take a moment to express your appreciation in person and via email to the individuals you’ve had the opportunity to work with directly at the organisation. This may include your manager, colleagues, and the Human Resources team. If you anticipate working with the organisation in the future, mention in your thank-you note that you look forward to future opportunities to work with the organisation.
Their responses to your email can serve as valuable commendations for your future reference. You can also request colleagues you’ve collaborated closely with to write recommendations for you on LinkedIn. To make this process smoother, connect with them on the platform and ask for a recommendation request. In some cases, organisations may even provide you with a formal letter of commendation.
As you conclude your internship, remember that this marks the end of one phase in your career and the beginning of your professional journey. It’s essential to leverage your internship experience to position yourself for future opportunities. You can achieve this by:
- Stay Connected: Maintaining a strong professional network is essential for career success. Stay in contact with your colleagues and supervisors from your internship, and consider connecting with professionals from other organisations you encountered during your internship on platforms like LinkedIn. You can also request colleagues you have worked closely with to write recommendations for you on LinkedIn. To make this process smoother, connect with them on the platform and ask for a recommendation request. In some cases, organisations may even provide you with a formal letter of commendation.Periodically check in on their progress and share your own updates, such as your graduation or progress in professional courses. Whenever possible, make in-person visits to your former workplace to interact with old colleagues and attend events organised by the organisation.
- Check In on Work: During your internship, you likely gained insights into various aspects of the organisation, such as ongoing projects, customer interactions, partnerships, and challenges. Stay engaged by asking current employees about the status of these initiatives. This demonstrates your continued interest and makes a positive impression on your former colleagues and supervisors.
- Offer Support: If there are specific skills or expertise you excelled at during your internship, be open to volunteering your assistance when needed. However, ensure this doesn’t interfere with your academic commitments when you return to school. Politely decline if you are unable to take on additional responsibilities to avoid overextending yourself. Consider the possibility of working with the organisation during your next holiday, which may also come with monetary compensation.
- Express Your Interest in a Permanent Role: While maintaining connections with colleagues, supervisors, and professionals you encountered during your internship, communicate your openness to a permanent position within their organisation. Express your desire to be informed about future job openings. Your prior work experience and established relationships will likely give you an advantage over other candidates when pursuing a permanent position within the organisation or at other organisations where your colleagues and supervisors may have moved to, lead, or founded.
This brings us to the end of the Industry Readiness Programme. Congratulations for successfully completing it. You are now well-prepared to have a fulfilling internship experience that benefits you, your institution, and your employer. Kindly provide your feedback on your experience and lessons from the programme, and suggestions to improve it. Once you have finished all the lessons and marked them as complete, you will receive your Industry Readiness Programme certificate via email. You can also download it from the program’s login page.