So, you’ve rocked the heck out of your PR internship, but now your internship is coming to an end. Before you walk out the door on your way to never making the company another pot of coffee or taking any more minutes for them at their meetings, there are 5 things you should do.
- Get feedback on your overall performance — Sure, you might have been receiving a little feedback on a daily basis as you work on projects, but before you complete your internship, you should try to schedule a time to sit down with your boss (or whoever you reported to most often during your internship) to discuss your performance. Try to figure out what you could have done better, what skills you need to work on, where you excelled, etc. Remember, your internship is about learning. So get as much learning done as you can.
- Ask about ongoing work opportunities — In some situations, a great intern can leverage his or her exceptional performance into a permanent position with the company. If you’re finishing up with college or have time to take on a job, ask your boss if there’s an opportunity for you to stay on with the company. If a full-time position isn’t available, you might be able to inquire about part-time work or contract work.
- Build your contact list — Internships are the place to make connections that can help you throughout your career. Make sure you exchange contact information with your boss, employees you worked with, and other interns who were at the company with you. Get business cards, connect with them on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, etc., and stay in touch. This is how you build up your network over time. It’s all about who you know.
- Ask for a recommendation — Assuming you were an intern rock star and not a complete screw up, you should ask for letters of recommendation before you finish up with your internship. The sooner you can ask, the better, so try to ask your employer about two weeks before your internship is over. Asking for a letter of recommendation makes your employer view you in a positive light so you can walk out the door leaving a great impression. You can also consider asking for LinkedIn recommendations.
- Say thank you — Last but not least, show your gratitude for the experience you were afforded. Personally thank everyone you worked with, and give handwritten notes to those who helped you along the way.
What other advice do you have for PR interns who are finishing up their internships? Share your words of wisdom by commenting below.
This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (http://www.ereleases.com), the online leader in affordable press release distribution. Download a free copy of the PR Checklist – a 24 point list of Press Release Dos and Don’ts here: http://www.ereleases.com/prchecklist.html