This summer, Colgate’s internship blog series is following students working for notable companies in a diverse array fields. As fall term approaches and they leave their desks or offices for the last time, interns will probably be left wondering how to continue to make the most of the contacts and resources acquired during their summer jobs.
Reaping the benefits of a summer internship extends beyond the time spent working for a company during a few months of employment. Here are some tips to get the most out of an internship, even after you leave:
Follow your company’s social media. If your company has a Twitter account and/or a LinkedIn group, follow them to stay up to date about employment opportunities. They may post or tweet about seasonal job openings that may be of interest to you if graduation lies on the horizon.
Look for company campus ambassador programs. Some businesses like to offer their summer interns an opportunity to keep in touch with HR by actually working as a brand or company representative back on campus. By acting as an extension of the HR department, campus ambassadors work directly with the professionals who will guide them through the application process for future employment opportunities.
Check in with your supervisor from time to time and have meaningful things to say. Make a calendar reminder to reach out to your former employer in the fall and winter months. Sending a quick e-mail to your boss in the months after your internship shows that you are interested in keeping up to date with your department and company. In your e-mail, try to add value to your other qualifications by pitching a promotion or story idea, if applicable.
Ask if you can work remotely. If you have an internship that involves online components or computer work, see if you can work as a freelancer. Watch for new, relevant material, and stay knowledgeable about happenings in the field; that way, when you ask to contribute, you will have up-to-date and relevant information about the work your company is doing. This outreach will help ensure your name is not forgotten in the office.
If someone recommended you, pay it forward. If you know a friend or classmate interested in a position in the department you interned for, and you think she or he would be a good fit, provide a recommendation. Because the company knows you personally, your recommendation could give the applicant a leg up and help your employer make an informed choice. It also shows that you care about the staffing quality in your office.
If you have any tips for summer interns or you’ve had interns of your own, please comment below with your advice.
(Editor’s note: Natalie was responsible for creating and managing Colgate’s internship blog series this summer.)