By Maura Gergerich, Toppel Peer Advisor
Summer is the time when most students that are planning on interning at a company do so. If you are one of these students, your experience with a company just ended. Now that the actual work is done you may be wondering what you should do with all of this wonderful new experience.
Evaluate what you learned
The first thing you want to do is evaluate your experience. Did you enjoy your time there? If not, try to figure out the reasoning behind it. Were your expectations of what you would be doing unrealistic? Did your employer not provide you with relevant projects? Or did you over/underestimate your skill level when applying for jobs? Each of these factors can impact your experience at a company, but should be utilized to learn what to look for in the future. If you loved your internship (which I hope most of you did) think back over what you worked on and evaluate things such as what skills you may have gained/improved upon, or what knowledge and insight you gained throughout your experience.
Send thank you’s
You can never say thank you too often. Even if you have thanked your co-workers throughout your internship you always want to follow it up once it’s over. First and foremost thank your supervisor. This is probably the person who gave you the most training and experience so they are your top priority. Next comes anyone else you may have worked with or interacted with regularly during your experience. The best idea is to send handwritten notes (and make sure not to just copy a message over and over!) each note should be specific to the person including specifics of how this person helped or influenced your experience.
Start making a list of people to ask to use as references; anyone who can attest to your skills and work ethic. Ask their permission and willingness and start compiling their information so you have it readily available for the next job application you fill out. Also, if you want reference letters from any employees make sure you don’t wait until you actually need one to ask! You wouldn’t want to end up needing one for an application due the next day and not having it readily available. You want to give each person about a week so that they have enough time to give you a well written letter.
Document it on your resume
Now it’s time to update that resume now that you have an awesome new experience to add to it! You (hopefully) have already evaluated your experience, so make changes to your skills section for new or improved skills and add your internship in your experience section. Don’t sell yourself short when describing your responsibilities. For any questions about this feel free to check out our resume guide http://www.sa.miami.edu/toppel/mainSite/Students/ResumeDevelopmentGuide.aspxor come to Toppel for walk-in advising (Monday-Thursday 10-4:30).