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The Importance of Keeping in Touch When Your Internship Ends

Fri, Sep 14, 2012

Internship Information

An internship can be a great, enlightening experience for those who take advantage of them. It won’t be easy, naturally, as you’re going head first into a whole new world, but that’s part of the point of an internship. You’re getting your feet wet before you jump into the pool. Even if you’re working unpaid or for college credit, the experience alone should be valuable enough to justify your hard work.

To make the most out of this experience you need to be attentive not only now, but in the future. Keep in touch with your coworkers and supervisors after the period of your internship ends. Many interns neglect to do this, not realizing that it is one of the best ways to make your work pay off.

Interns come and go at companies; some are memorable, others are not. What you want to do here is make yourself memorable. If you drift in and out of the business’s life without making so much as a splash, you’ve failed to take advantage of the internship program. This is an opportunity to gain work experience and to make connections in your industry. These are truly valuable assets to have under your belt, and they will help you get a leg up on the pile down the road. But if you fail to keep in touch after your internship ends, you lose the opportunity to make connections.

Staying in contact with coworkers and supervisors has innumerable benefits. If you ever need a letter of reference in the future, you will have someone who knows you and can truly extoll your virtues as a person and professional. Many young workers fail to appreciate the value of a good recommendation letter until they are unable to obtain one. Employers are hesitant to write letters for those that they don’t know well. Letter writing takes time, and is done mostly as a personal favor. It is important to have reliable references, and keeping in touch with your internship supervisors is a great way to build these relationships.

Of course it’s not just for references that maintaining contact is beneficial. Openings are bound to come up in the company for which you’ve interned, and by staying in touch you open your door to opportunities within the company. Many internships lead to full time employment, but only for those who work at it. Don’t let your hard work fall to the wayside and be forgotten; that’s not why you’re here. Building solid relationships with your managers will bring endless opportunities your way. This is the payoff of internship that so many fail to see.

Your internship could just be one step of many. You may be gaining some short term field experience on your way to pursuing a masters in taxation or finance, not planning realistically to enter the work force for a few years. If this is the case, then it is even more important that you stay in touch after your internship. You don’t want to be forgotten when the time comes to make the next step.

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