Before the Summer Ends
Over the next few weeks your time as a summer associate or intern will rapidly come to a close. Before you leave your summer employer, make sure you do the following 10 things to ensure you leave on a high note:
1. Transition work – Turn in completed work assignments. For any work that remains incomplete, prepare a short memo detailing what you’ve done and what work remains. If you have relied on specific sources for key information, list their names and key contact information. Provide supporting documentation. Make it super easy for someone else to finish the project.
2. Meet with your supervisor(s) – Ask for feedback. Listen carefully. If any feedback is less than positive, do not become defensive. Show your appreciation for your supervisor’s willingness to share his/her thoughts and time.
3. Ask for copies of your work – To begin building a portfolio, you may wish to keep copies of any work you completed. Ask permission to do so. Remember, your work product belongs to your employer. Don’t assume you may keep it.
4. Say “thank you” – In a private conversation, thank your supervisor for the summer experience. Stop by the recruiting department and do the same. And don’t forget to thank other people—administrators, tech department, library, mailroom, and others—who helped you complete work.
5. Share your career plans – If you hope your summer experience will lead to a future job offer, clearly express this desire. You may or may not receive a positive response, however, don’t assume others know your goals and expectations.
6. Speak positively – If your summer experience was disappointing, suck it up. When you refer to it, only focus on the positive. Avoid complaining. Never burn a bridge.
7. Prepare to stay in touch – Create a plan to stay in touch with key people. Update your LinkedIn profile, adding information about your summer experience. Invite others to “link” to you. Avoid using Facebook for this purpose.
8. No gifting – Do not give a gift to your supervisor or to anyone else with whom you worked. Your good intent could be misinterpreted as an attempt to curry favor.
9. Hand write a thank-you note – Yes, it’s redundant, but this note gives you one last chance to leave a positive impression with your supervisor. Keep it short, simple, and sincere. Mail it within 48-hours of your last day of work.
10. Update your résumé – While your summer experience is still fresh in your mind, craft four or five quality sentences that describe the experience and the skills you acquired as a result.
Don’t let the end of your summer experience just happen. View it as one more opportunity to take charge of your career and close with class.
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