The Internship Bucket List
This is a guest post from our InternQueen Campus Ambassador Kim Pham, marketing major at New York University.
You know the old adage: “all good things must come to an end.” Sadly, your internship doesn’t last forever and there are a few essential things you need to complete before your stint ends - an internship bucket list, of sorts. Some of these tasks are silly, and some are serious – but all will maximize the time and effort you spend interning.
- Follow the company brand on Twitter/fan them on Facebook.
With social media taking center stage for many businesses, remember to stay in the loop about how your company is presenting itself to the public. Plus, it shows that you are loyal and attentive to the brand.
- Send a thank-you card to the intern coordinator/immediate superior.
This person is your direct connection, responsible for your hiring and current position. Let him or her know that you have truly appreciated all of the help and guidance, and that you intend to continue the relationship past your internship position.
- Attend a company bonding event.
Whether it is the weekly dinner, holiday party, or team lunch, a company bonding event is a great time to get to know your coworkers on a more personal level. It is also an opportunity to show off your shining personality and charm, beyond just being a competent intern.
- Offer to run an otherwise “mundane” errand.
Even if you find yourself busy with crucial tasks, offer one of those errands dreaded among interns: i.e., make a Starbucks run, take the office dog for a walk, drop off envelopes at the post office, etc. It is a humbling reminder of just how hard you sometimes have to work to succeed, and also demonstrates that you do not consider any task too “below” you.
- Get a reference letter from your boss.
Getting an additional reference letter never hurts, especially if you performed well; you never know when a potential employer or school might need one! I worked as a marketing intern for an online company back home in Boston two years ago, and received a killer reference letter from the CEO of my company afterward. That letter was particularly impressive when applying for my current internship at a tech-startup here in New York City.
- Network with at least three other people – outside of your company.
Whether it is a client or competitor, make sure to connect with people other than your immediate coworkers. It is a chance to expand your network beyond the walls of your internship; broadening your contacts is an essential, timeless skill that will always be beneficial, regardless of your position.
- Tackle a project that seems “bigger than you.”
Don’t be afraid to challenge yourself at the internship – it is a chance to show your superiors that, despite lacking experience or education, you are fearless and willing. If the company plans to hire an intern full-time later on, your desire to learn will really stand out.
The "bucket list" mentality will really help you remember that your days are limited - remember to take advantage of every day at your internship. Regardless of what happens after that fateful last day, be proud of the hard work you have done at your internship and (hopefully) the new doors that have opened.