What’s your exit strategy? How to wrap up your internship
By DC EcoWoman Dawn Bickett
Flickr User Victor1558
Are you prepared for the end? Of your internship, that is!
Many EcoWomen come to Washington, D.C. for short-term positions — from internships, to fellowships, to contract jobs. These experiences can shape career choices and help develop new skills, but they can also zoom by before you are ready for them to be over.
Here are a few strategies for continue benefitting from your experience long after your last day.
Forget the vanishing act
While quickly saying a few goodbyes and ducking out on your last day is the easiest approach to leaving, it is also the one that does you the least good. Make sure that your coworkers and supervisors know when you are leaving, where you are headed next, and if you are interested in working at the organization permanently, well in advance of your last day. If colleagues don’t know what you are looking for next, they won’t be able to offer help.
Whether or not you want to come back to work at an office where you interned, you never know when a contact you made there will be helpful. Make sure you have your coworkers’ and supervisors’ personal contact information and that they have yours. And don’t hesitate to check in with them from time to time (although careful not to go overboard!). Social media can also be a helpful tool to keep in touch.
Taking part in volunteer opportunities with your old office or organization can be a great way to show that you are still interested in the organization’s mission, especially if you would like to be hired there permanently. It will also keep your face fresh in the minds of those with whom you worked.
Don’t want to leave? Talk with your supervisor or mentor early on to express your interest in a permanent position, and keep yourself informed on openings. If you know what position you want in the organization, make sure you are learning the skills needed for that specific job so you can make your case when the job becomes available.
There’s a lot to do, so don’t let your last day sneak up on you! While an internship or fellowship position may be temporary, the opportunities that arise from them can have long-term impacts on your career. Want more tips? Check out Ending an Internship on a High Note.