Completing an internship is essential to gaining hands-on, real life experience and skills that you otherwise wouldn’t get in a classroom setting. In fact, a majority of Dittoe PR employees started their PR careers as interns here – including me!
Like all good things, an internship must come to an end. If you’re currently interning somewhere, are you prepared for the final chapter? These key tips will help you end your internship on a high note, and, hopefully, guarantee success in your future career-related endeavors.
End on a high note.
The end of your internship is just as important as the start. Don’t let the allure of a semester ending distract you from finishing strong.
Inevitably, workflow decreases as the semester comes to a close, but don’t let that seep into your productivity. Instead of online shopping for the next interview blazer (that you’ll only use once), show initiative and ask for more assignments. Someone is bound to need help, and the impression you’ll leave on your team is invaluable. Showing commitment to your role could even help to land you another internship or a full-time gig!
Leverage your relationships.
It’s not against the rules to ask about potential job openings at your company. If you are having trouble finding your next opportunity, take advantage of the professional network you’ve been building! Especially if you made a great impression, that commitment shows your initiative and dedication.
Prepare a list of your contributions during your internship and reasons why you would be a valuable asset to any growing team. Then, talk your mentor or internship director for next steps. Even if you don’t get to stay, they may be able to reach out to their industry peers and find a good fit for you, make an introduction or even provide a recommendation.
As a matter of fact, I showed my interest for staying on permanently at Dittoe PR two months into my internship and look where I am today!
Create an online portfolio.
In today’s digital age, an online portfolio is crucial to demonstrating your abilities as a professional and standing out against other qualified candidates. It can be as easy as updating your LinkedIn profile with verbiage about your professional roles thus far. Consider uploading completed projects that you are proud of, so recruiters can easily see your samples, and sharing measurable results (i.e. the number of media hits or social media analytics that resulted from your work).
Want to go the extra mile? Design your own online portfolio by utilizing easy-to-use tools such as Weebly or Wix. Include your resume, writing samples, letters of recommendation and more to show off your professional prowess.
Seek out feedback.
As you approach the end of your internship, it is important to ask your mentor and peers for feedback. Seeking out feedback shows that you want to improve and learn from your prior mistakes. Chances are your colleagues have been in this field for a while – they know a few things!
Be sure to schedule an “exit interview” with your internship mentor or director. Take the opportunity to gauge your progress throughout the internship. Pick his or her brain about your strengths, weaknesses and where to go from here.
Stay in touch.
No one likes to be ghosted. Especially your internship coordinators or fellow coworkers. Just because your time at the company is over does not mean it’s the time to completely distance yourself. If you maintain contact, whether it be via a professional networking site such as LinkedIn or taking the time to send out a monthly update to your internship mentor, it shows that you care. Your internship is a stepping stone into getting a full-time position, don’t let it go to waste.
If you’re considering taking that next step and applying for a full-time position, be sure to do all the necessary research first. What is required of you to apply? Which writing samples would be appropriate to send? Gather all of your materials first, then communicate in-person with your company’s hiring manager to discuss next steps.
Like they say during finals week – finish strong!
Interested in applying for an internship at Dittoe PR? Contact Vanessa Staublin at va*****@di******.com to learn more about our Summer 2019 internship program.