Leaving an internship or temporary position can be just as much of an art as landing the internship in the first place. You may have been an amazing intern, but you can easily tarnish that reputation based on how you leave.
As I wrap-up my internship with CARE, I created a goodbye to-do list. My to-do list is complete with things I wish I did differently at past internship goodbyes and new tips I want to test out. You never know; maybe this list can help you transition to a new position as well.
1. Have the talk. When you get to the last month of your internship make sure you sit down with your manager and talk about your plans. Are you hoping to get hired on full-time? Can your manager help you with recommendations? Or do you need to tell your manager about a job offer you have received?
2. Check on your final task list with your manager. In order to make sure you complete all your tasks, make sure you are on the same page with your manager.
3. Schedule an evaluation. Ask your manager and/or additional co-workers to give you feedback on your performance as an intern.
4. Pass on responsibilities. If you had ongoing tasks, make sure you sit down with the appropriate people to pass on what you have been working on. i.e. Updating the calendars and task lists.
5. Move documents to the share drive. I know the share drive is very slow, so you probably save documents to your own folders. Well make sure you save all the reports and research you worked on to the share folder.
6. Review your time sheet.
Trust me skipping this step is not worth missing a paycheck. Make sure you have completed all your necessary time sheets before your last day.
7. Make copies of portfolio pieces. Remember you will no longer have access to any documents you saved, so send yourself any necessary copies for your portfolio.
8. Share your contact information. When the mass email goes out announcing your last week, reply to everyone with your contact information. Let them know you would love to keep in touch.
9. Say thank you. Your co-workers and manager worked hard to bring you into the team and teach you. Don’t let their hard work go unnoticed. Give them personalized thank you’s.
10. Celebrate your goodbye. Invite your co-workers to a goodbye lunch. Having some fun is a great way to leave on a positive note.
11. Connect. Make sure you connect with co-workers on LinkedIn. Also, ask for recommendations from people you worked with directly. (Tip: If you did the evaluation part, then you should have no surprises.)
12. Follow-up. Once you have left, check back in to see how everyone is doing. Internships are great ways to expand your professional network. But you need to continue the relationship by following-up. A Happy Holidays email or recognition for the company’s success can go a long way. And you never know; you might end up working there again.
Did I miss anything? Do you have any additional advice?