In Addition to Tuition:
Tayem’s College Toolbox of Tips
8 steps to making the most of your summer internship
It’s the end of July! And the fall semester is quickly approaching. So it’s time to start reflecting on what else you can do to make the most of these final weeks of your summer internship.
1. Network, network, network! Not only with the staff in your office but with your fellow interns as well. You never know when you might meet again and how they might be able to help you or you might be able to help them. So get everyone’s business cards, add them on LinkedIn and most importantly, keep in touch!
2. So how do I keep in touch you might ask? Email them! I know…sometimes it’s hard to figure out what to say in the email. But remembering them during the holidays is a great way to do it! A simple, “Happy Thanksgiving, I’m thankful I had the opportunity to intern and learn so much from you this year” …totally works! Or maybe you shared a common interest with someone in the office and you send them an article you know they would appreciate. Also, adults love to be asked about how their families are doing as well. Asking about their children or their pet puppy that they talked about a lot shows that you actually listened to them and truly cared about getting to know them as a person. It’s also a GREAT idea to send them projects you are working on in school that relate to the job you were doing with them. Or telling them how something that you learned at your internship you are now applying at school. They LOVE to hear that they helped influence you in some way or another. It’s important for you to continue to be memorable and keep in touch because hey…there could be an opening for a real job with that company once you graduate. And that person could play a key role in getting you that job! Even if you don’t plan on ever working there again, your coworkers and supervisors can be used as references for future internships or jobs. And gosh they will have so many wonderful things to say about you :)
3. Next question to ask yourself – is there anyone outside the team that you work with that you would like to meet? Don’t be afraid to ask the big shots of the company’s assistant if the big boss would meet with you for 10 minutes to give you some advice. The worst they can say is no! People love talking about themselves and offering advice to young people…so if they have the time, they will say yes! So it’s a worth a shot! And be prepared with questions like…how did you get to where you are today? What advice do you have for a college student with career aspirations to be fill in the blank? Another great one…why do you love your job? Get ready to be filled with so much wisdom!
4. It’s also an awesome idea to meet with the Human Resource department if you want them to hire you when you graduate. Don’t be afraid to ask what entry level pay is so you are better prepared for after graduation. I learned quickly that my dream place to work pays very very very little in NYC and well… who can afford to make $15/hr and live in NYC? You just can’t. And HR understands that and will tell you still to KEEP IN TOUCH with them…so DO IT! Because you might not be able to afford to work with them right away, but once you gain more experience, you will be eligible for much higher paying positions. And HR will remember you when that time comes!
5. Okay so there only a few weeks left, is there anything else that you feel like you could learn or do with the company? Or maybe there’s someone you want to shadow? If so, tell you your supervisor or mentor so they can help you set it up!
6. Now it’s time to get a little deep here…you’ve spent your whole summer with this company…what did you think? How did you feel? Did you like the environment? Did you like the work you were doing? Could you see your future there or in a similar place? A HUGE THING TO LOOK OUT FOR…THIS IS IMPORTANT!!! Are your coworkers happy??? Do they complain about their pay, hours, management or benefits? There’s always going to be that one person who complains about everything so don’t let that one Debbie Downer crush your dreams. But if almost EVERYONE is miserable and complaining, why in the world would you want to strive to be in their position? That’s the real eye-opener and it might make you reevaluate your career path. And that’s okay! You don’t have to steer away from you major completely but maybe find other career options for your major or degree. Meet with your career center and they will help you get back on track. Because you might just learn your dream job isn’t what you thought it was at all…and it’s beyond heartbreaking, confusing and frustrating! Trust me…I’ve been there. But instead of beating yourself up about it, be thankful for the experience and that you are learning that it’s not your dream NOW instead of 5-10 years down the road.
7. IT’S YOUR LAST DAY! Now what?! Make sure to have handwritten thank you cards for everyone that made an impact on you during your internship. And maybe bring some sort of desert to thank everyone…because hey…who doesn’t like something sweet? :)
8. FINALLY – if you are living in a different place for your internship, make a bucket list of places you want to visit, explore or eat at. It’s important to really soak in and experience the cool town or city you got to live in all summer!
SO GOOD LUCK! HAVE FUN! BE A SPONGE AND SOAK UP EVERYTHING THERE IS TO LEARN.
And let us know if you need anything. We are here for you always :)
Wishing you all nothing but the best and most successful final weeks of your internship.
Cheers to a wonderful and productive rest of your summer,
The George Snow Scholarship Fund
201 Plaza Real, Suite #260
Boca Raton, FL 33432