6 things to take with you from your internship

Inspiring Interns’ internships are designed to lead into full-time roles, but sometimes for various reasons, things just don’t work out. If you’ve found yourself in that bracket, it is important to stay motivated and maximise your opportunities by focussing on the things that you have gained from your internship.

Here are 6 things to take away with you:

1. A great contact
You may not being staying on at the company but you have made one or maybe many great contacts in your time with them. Write down any names or contact details of people you have met as these could be useful contacts in the future. At the end of your placement ensure you say thank you to everyone who has influenced your experience. Buy a card for the office and write a personal message to your supervisor letting them know how much you enjoyed your experience, what you have learned and that you look forward to keeping in touch. This is a great way to let them know that you will not become a stranger once you leave the workplace and will position you firmly in their mind for any future opportunities with their company or maybe with their network of contacts. Ensure you do keep in touch once you have left so you are kept in the loop about opportunities.

2. A letter of recommendation
For any future job opportunities you will need letters of recommendation, and you can never have too many! Ask your manager or whoever supervised you to write recommendation at least two weeks in advance to accommodate their busy schedules and to ensure they have time to think about what they would like to say about you. Ensure the letters include the company letterhead and a personal signature. Once you have the final recommendation, don’t forget to say thank you and secure it in a safe location or display it in a portfolio.

3. Some great examples of your work
Keep a diary of everything you have done during your internship. This will make recalling things you have learnt and updating your CV so much easier. Keep a copy of any written, analytical or design work you completed for the company. Combine all of this in a portfolio for you to keep and show of at interviews.

4. Some great experience and new skills for your CV
You now have some great work experience under your belt which you didn’t have 3 months ago. You will have gained experience of working in an office environment as well as industry specific skills which will look great on your CV. Update your CV during your internship or as soon as you have left so everything you have learnt is fresh in your mind. Don’t overlook anything. What looks like a simple task may be extremely impressive to a potential employer.

5. Something to talk about in future interviews
With your new experience and updated CV you will have some great stuff to talk to interviewers about. Having these 3 months of experience will give you more confidence in an interview as you can draw on the skills you learnt and how quickly you picked things up to explain what you could bring to the role and company. Take a portfolio of the work you completed during your internship and talk about the projects you worked on and what input you had.

6. A step closer
No experience is a bad experience. Use your internship as a taster session. A 3 month internship can help you decide whether an industry is for you or not. After your placement, look back and think about whether this is the right path for you. If you learn that you don’t want to be a software engineer but have sparked a passion for creative marketing during your internship then you are one step closer to finding your dream job.

Even if an internship doesn’t lead directly into a permanent position, the experience you have gained will set you apart from the crowd and boost your employment chances.

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