Many students make the same mistake when it comes to internships; they focus on getting the internship and fail to realize that once the internship has ended there are critical steps that need to be taken. Internships can be an excellent coup to include on your resume once you are embarking in the professional world and starting your career search. In order to make the most of your internship, there are steps that should be taken immediately after your internship has ended to maximize its potential for future use.
First, you need to spend a bit of time evaluating what you learned in the internship. The real goal of an internship is to give you some real world experience that can help you to determine whether you would like to do that type of job after you graduate. Did you find the duties to be dull and boring or did you find them interesting? What about that actual field? Do you think that you would even like to be in that field? Finally, consider the work environment. Were you pleased with it? By answering these questions, you can gain an idea of whether this is a career option that you would like to consider further or whether it is something you would like to completely rule out.
Beyond taking stock of what you learned during the internship, you also need to go ahead and take the time to update your resume. If you wait to do this you may find that you have forgotten critical pieces of information. Take the time to write down all of the duties that you performed during your internship. Even if they seem trivial, go ahead and write them down. It is also a good idea to make note of particular areas of expertise to which you were exposed during your internship.
You should also make sure that you go ahead and send thank you notes to your primary internship supervisor as well as any other individuals with whom you worked closely during your internship. Make sure you mention how they made your internship valuable and what you learned from the experience. Even if it turned out that you did not care for the internship, you should still follow-up with a thank you note.
If you find that you enjoyed the internship then you might think about contacting those persons you met during your internship periodically to make sure you remain fresh in their minds. This can prove to be an excellent networking resource in the future. Finally, go ahead and request letters of recommendation now as they can be critical when you start on your career search.