How to Leave an Internship

Daily inspiration and advice for the ambitious savvy young professional

How to Leave an Internship

This is a guest blog post from Queen, a former Communications Intern for Scholastic, Inc.

If you’re a college student, you probably know that nothing is trending more than #internships. There simply is no shortage of companies willing to take on young, ambitious employees for a few months, especially if their willing to work for free. But while it’s fairly easy to work your way into an internship, sometimes it’s hard to depart.

As a communication major following the journalism tract, I participated in a series of news reporting internships. Whether they were short term like my 4-day experience with the Pennsylvania Society of Newspaper Editors (PSNE) or long term like my internship with the Philadelphia Daily News, each was a significant learning experience and a stepping stone toward my future career.

This summer I was selected to participate in a paid internship with Scholastic Inc., in its corporate communication department along with an amazing scholarship honor from the New York Women in Communication Foundation.

After participating in several internships, I adopted the practice of sending goodbye notes to my colleagues at the end of the term. The mock press release I sent around the Philadelphia Daily News office, garnered tons of laughs and gratitude. My parting words are still mentioned and remembered by the staff to this day. Similarly, I sent a farewell e-mail to my coworkers at Scholastic and it was also well-received.

I’d advise students participating in internships to do the same. We’re all struggling college students, so you may not have the money to send fruit flowers or some elaborate bouquet; but our final words can leave a lasting impression. Here’s what I wrote to my co-workers at Scholastic:

So today is my last day. Rather than bore you with a long reflection of my experiences here at Scholastic…wait, this is a long reflection of my experiences at Scholastic! Anyway, try to enjoy it. It’s the only way I know how to say goodbye and thank you; I’m a writer for Pete’s sake!

5 things I do now that I didn’t do before working for Scholastic:

Drink coffee: I have been a tea lover my whole life but my eyes have to be open to keep up with all the Scholastic tweets! So now I’m a big fan of Dean & Deluca (which totally redefined my definition of coffee) but the free coffee on the 6th floor does just fine on my broke days!

All things Blog: I think I’d blogged twice in my life before coming here. Now I’ve started my own blog on Tumblr (boring as it may be for starters) and I subscribe to over 30 education/literacy/politic blogs; because, as a mother, nothing could be more important than knowing the latest about my daughter’s future education.

Tweet Peep: I was forced to create a Twitter account after participating in my last internship with PSNE, but honestly, once it was over, I hadn’t sent out a single tweet. Well, in the process of reading so many interesting blogs, I found that there are simply too many cool things going on that warrant a tweet! Still abysmal in numbers compared to others, but since I’ve been at Scholastic, I’m nearing 200 tweets!

Organize my social media: Now that I’ve subscribed to so many blogs and I’m tweeting regularly, I have to keep up with them all. Thanks to key pointers learned during Social Media University (shout-out to Morgan Baden & Ivy Li) I have a TweetDeck and Google Reader to manage it all. Life is sooo much easier with a dashboard!

A Reading State of Mind: I read a lot before coming here but mostly assigned readings for my undergrad college courses. Now I read about one book per week. Because you just can’t work at Scholastic and not be an avid reader and because the train rides in New York are so long you could easily read a book per day on your commute. Besides, working here I found so many new, amazing titles to choose from, including YA titles that I never thought I would read (that is until I read the Hunger Games trilogy and loved it!).Working here revived the kid in me, the one who stayed up all night long reading a Stephen King book when I was 12. Only Scholastic could take me back there.

This was much more than an internship for me; much more than just assignments to finish for a grade. This experienced changed who I am, forever. I’m more in touch with the world through social media and reading and that makes me a more informed mother, student and journalist; I’ve learned much of what it means to be a publicist thanks to help from Sara, Yanique, and the very much missed Amanda; I am one with Meltwater, for better or for worse, thanks to Meaghan and Lia; I’m kinda…sorta, a blogger, thanks to Morgan; and most importantly, I am on a permanent mission to Read Everyday, Lead a Better Life.

P.S. (Special shout-out to the HR department who put up with all of my Philly/NY drama, and put the “Human” in HR. You are amazing and I appreciate everything you did for me.

Thank you.