The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences

13 Tips for Ending Your Internship Successfully

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Victoria Trump Redd '14 at her internship at Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative North America this summer. 

While Dartmouth '13s fret about how to balance cramming for orgo and astro while still enjoying the perfect Hanover weather, no small amount of Dartmouth students must also begin contemplating how to wrap up summer internships. For those in D.C., while longing to be outside might not be such a problem, ending the experience properly might prove more challenging. 
We found the following tips and links quite useful in contemplating how to successfully wrap up an internship:

  1. If you received funding support from a campus department or center (such as Rocky), don't forget to look at your final requirements!
  2. Other practical matters: Does your boss know when you are leaving? Did you leave a project unfinished? Did you leave your lunchbox in the break room? 
  3. Here's a good summary on how to end an internship on the right note. 
  4. Think about letters of recommendation, but don't be sleazy about it: ask nicely. Maybe your supervisor would rather wait until you have an actual interview lined up before writing your rec: that's okay, but if you don't establish that line of communication it'll be hard to do on short notice later. 
  5. Tips on recommendations 
  6. Write a thank you note and keep the communication going with your supervisor and colleagues. LinkedIn is a good way to stay connected; so is sending notes and checking in once in a while. Leave the door open for future connections and build upon existing relationships.  
  7. Along those lines, get a LinkedIn account! Why? Click through for an article of interest. 
  8. Make a portfolio. Those pieces of writing you did will be really helpful when a future employer asks you for a writing sample-all the better if it's been edited and published, right? 
  9. Establish a line of institutional memory for your position. Remember how as an intern your job is to make your boss's life easier? Still true: organize what you did so that they know just how easy you made their life and how easy you'll make the life of whoever succeeds you. Wouldn't you have liked it if you knew all the passwords and ways around the office when you started? (See these suggestions.
  10. Ask questions you've been dying to ask all term. You really should use the opportunity to investigate grad school, future prospects for employment, what the field is really like, and the different paths people take to get there. (See: this post with end of internship suggestions. 
  11. End on a positive note! You don't want your last employer thinking you're terrible, and you don't want to leave an internship in an industry with a bad impression: whether or not you work in that industry, you may someday work with it. 
  12. Examples from : Student Branding and College 
  13. As always, the Rockefeller Center encourages reflection and self-evaluation to see what you learned, what you could have done better, and how you can use your new relationships to improve communities, your own life, and the lives of those around you. For an example of a high-quality intern post intern post with photos and all. 

- Jacob Hickson ’13, Rockefeller Center Internships Student Program Assistant

The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences