Wrapping Things Up

by Beckie Stokes, Operations Assistant

intern mugHere we are, knee-deep into August already. Hopefully you’ve been able to spend your summer not only getting some good quality rest and relaxation, but also logging in some awesome internship hours. Since you’ll be wrapping up and heading back to good old Penn soon, here are some things you should remember to do before you bid adieu to your summer employer.

-Ask your boss for honest feedback. You’ve spent the whole summer working and learning new skills, but maybe no one has let you know how you’re doing in the big-picture sense. Now is a great time to schedule a sit-down with your supervisor to see how they viewed your performance, where you can improve, and (hopefully) hear some positive things about your work.

-Talk to and conduct informational interviews with people in your company. You have such great access into a particular industry right now. Don’t pass up the opportunity to pick the brains of people who are actively involved in it. You should do this regardless of whether you loved or hated what you did. If you loved it, great – get some insight into what the real day-to-day of full-time employees is like and what your future might hold. If you ultimately decided that this position or department wasn’t for you, talk to some people outside of the department to see what their work is like – it could be that you still love the industry or company but would ultimately seek a different position.

-Have a talk about your future with the company. Did you love what you did this summer? Awesome! Have a sit-down with your boss to talk about next steps. Some industries make offers at the end of the summer; some tell you they were pleased with your performance and invite you to keep in touch as graduation approaches. Either way, you should take action to make sure they know that you would like to come back if they’ll have you.

-Start making the “goodbye” rounds, but do it before your last day. This is a great time to let your colleagues know how much you’ve appreciated working with them, and chat a bit about your plans for the future. Make sure you have their contact information so you can keep in touch, regardless of your plans to return to the company. This is a great opportunity to expand your network and start nurturing your connections in the field. Starting this process at least a couple of days before you leave ensures that you’ll be able to talk to everyone (heaven forbid your favorite colleague calls out sick on your last day!) and that you’ll have enough time for more than a ten-second “See ya!” on the way out the door.

We hope the end of your internship and the end of your summer are enjoyable and productive. And if you do get that end-of-summer offer and need help negotiating, our door is always open. See you soon, Quakers!