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How to Make a Positive Last Impression As Your Internship Winds Down

August 10th, 2018

The grueling hot weather across much of the country might say otherwise, but summer is winding down. So are summer internships.

At many organizations, managers are beginning to assess their interns. Those who stood out may be offered a full-time job after graduation. So, even as you start thinking about the start of the semester, now is the time to really shine. You want to make sure you end your internship on a positive note.

Here are some tips from Sara Sparhawk, a manager at Amazon’s University Recruiting program:

  1. Don't slack off. No matter how few days -- or hours -- you have left, keep showing your drive and commitment to get the work done.
  2. Handle the work hand-off smartly. Find out who will take over your project or tasks that won't be finished, and then brief them thoroughly. Make sure they not only know where you put things and the details of what needs to be done, but also share with them what you learned and any insights. Putting in a memo for them and your boss will make an even bigger impression.
  3. Prepare for the ending. Know if you will be expected to make a presentation, then ask what it will entail and who will be present. You'll likely have a final meeting with your supervisor. Be prepared to share what you did well, and also your assessment of what you still need to learn. “Interns should go into reviews looking for feedback on their strengths as well as opportunities for growth."
  4. Manage your network. You've come into contact with many people during the internship, be sure to stay in contact with them -- and this includes the other interns. Add them to your LinkedIn network; collect their email and phone numbers. One powerful suggestion is to send thank you notes to those you worked closely with, letting them know your appreciation for their help.
  5. If you want a job, ask. Doing good work isn't always enough to land you an offer, you have to let people know you want to work for the organization. Reach out to your manager and to HR. If the company has an internship coordinator, let that person know how eager you are to work for the company when you graduate. “Different companies make full-time hiring decisions for summer interns at different times in the year, so be sure to keep in touch with your recruiter and managers and stay in-the-know about what’s happening in your team’s world,” says Sparhawk

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