Marc Phillips is a senior at Ithaca College, majoring in Integrated Marketing Communications. He is a Digital Strategy intern at Ogilvy in New York City, and was a former digital production intern with TBWA\Chiat\Day in Los Angeles. Learn more about Marc here: http://www.marcbphillips.com
All good things must come to an end. Hopefully over the term of your internship, you learned more about your industry, interests, talents, and co-workers. If not, it is not too late. The last week of work should be used as a tool to improve yourself one last time and express interest in future employment. Your supervisor is going to remember you more for your lasting contributions, so it is crucial you use the last week to your advantage.
Here are some easy steps to you can follow to leave a memorable impression:
• Set up lunch or coffee dates with your supervisor or any other co-worker you might have worked with. This is a great opportunity to ask about his or her path into your industry, what trade publications they read, and how you can improve yourself. Be sure to keep the flow of conversation equal and to not talk about yourself for the duration of the meeting.
• Need help clearly stating what you completed during your internship? Create a meeting with Human Resources to review your resume. The professionals in HR will help you explain your projects and contributions concisely. If you work in media, you know individual Advertising and PR agencies are known for their own company jargon. HR will help you use the industry-approved terms that all employers will know.
• Are you interning with other students? You’re all going to be part of the same industry and likely have similar interests and talents. Set aside time to grab a quick lunch. You never know what you or your co-interns will learn from each other.
• If you don’t already have an account on LinkedIn, what are you waiting for? This is the greatest tool you can use to stay in touch with past co-workers and see any important career updates. After all, there is nothing more embarrassing than having an e-mail bounce back because your former supervisor changed companies. Keep in mind, this is surprisingly frequent in the media industry. As an added bonus, many job websites now sync with LinkedIn, showing you if any connections work at potential companies.
• When asking for a letter of recommendation, give your supervisor as long of a notice as possible. Remember, they are doing you the favor and are under no obligation to drop their work to write your letter due in one week.
• The last day of work is your opportunity to clean out your desk and leave it better than you found it. You might have worked on older, confidential assignments that need to be shredded as opposed to thrown in a recycling bin. If you have any questions, ask. If you believe your department might need digital files after you leave, save them all to a ZIP file or place them on a flash drive for future use. Your supervisor will love this.
• Stay upbeat and smile, even if you’re sad about your last day of work. Office attitude is contagious and you should do all you can to maintain a positive atmosphere.
• Right before you leave, place handwritten thank you notes on the desks of employees who helped you throughout your internship. Include your e-mail address and cell phone number.