By: S. David Ross, Associate Director
Now that the 4th of July (the unofficial “midpoint” of summer) has passed, it’s a great time to assess what has transpired in your summer internship thus far and create a plan to finish strong. Here are a few ideas to consider:
Obtain feedback on your performance. If you haven’t already, now may be a good time to get feedback on your performance thus far. Although it may seem reasonable to think that no feedback is always a good sign, try not to assume this – if nothing else, hearing positive words of encouragement regarding your performance can reassure you that you are indeed on the right track. If you have already received some constructive feedback on your performance, be sure that you are making the necessary adjustments for improvement.
Reflect on your internship experience. Have you enjoyed your internship? Are you developing skills and learning new things? Or are you not being challenged as much as anticipated? Whatever the case may be, taking time to reflect on what has transpired now may be helpful. You may want to propose or suggest additional projects or areas of interest that you can pursue during the second half of your summer to gain additional experience or further enhance your skill set.
Note your contributions and projects. While you may be busy with existing internship duties and tasks, be sure to make note of your contributions and projects. This can be especially handy for updating your resume and any end of the summer performance review discussions.
Cultivate relationships and expand your network. Depending on the type of office you work in and the number of staff, you may have opportunities to strengthen professional relationships and enhance your network. Take advantage of opportunities to build camaraderie – through participation in formal company-sponsored events or informal opportunities to interact with your colleagues (perhaps through lunch). You never know when these relationships may be useful in the future.
Consider reference possibilities. Now that you have spent some time in your internship and hopefully interacted with some of your colleagues, you may want to begin thinking about individuals you want to ask for references before you leave at the end of the summer. No need to rush on this now, but having a few individuals in mind that can speak to your skills and performance in your internship will be valuable when you apply for future employment opportunities. In some instances, it can be easier to ask for references at the end of your summer just before you leave your internship – having one or more individuals in mind already may make the process a bit easier.