Leave with Lasting Connections

With August fast approaching, it’s time to start thinking about the end of your summer internship. Now is not the time slack off just because your internship is ending. Being prepared to leave on a high note can do wonders for your professional future.

I frequently write about networking on the UW-W Student Internships Blog, often in the context of the internship search. However, networking is also an important aspect of the internship experience itself. Now that summer internships are coming to an end, it’s time to prepare for maintaining the network you’ve built at your internship site.

Stay in touch with your internship site and the employees there after your internship. Save the business cards you have (hopefully) gathered. Be sure that you have everyone’s updated contact information before you leave.

Now, remember the true essence of networking – building relationships. To build a strong network, focus on developing quality relationships with people. You’re not simply going for quantity of contacts. Developing lasting relationships with your internship site colleagues can be as simple as touching base with them every few months. You might send an email update on your semester. If you had a good relationship with your supervisor, you might invite him or her to meet for coffee or lunch.

Finally, use LinkedIn to stay in touch with your internship co-workers. One of the human resources blogs I’m currently reading, Clue Wagon, recently did a four-part series on using LinkedIn: Getting Started, Making Connections, Using Groups, and Getting Fancy. If you’re not on LinkedIn yet or are fairly new to it, these four posts are great primers.

Good relationships are crucial for your career. Make sure you walk away from your current internship with a few in the bag.


Photo by moriza

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One Response to “Leave with Lasting Connections”
  1. Kathy says:

    Laura, You are doing a fabulous job and outstanding service with your information about internships. As a former career counselor who has worked with lots of folks from student age right up through retirement age, I am very impressed with your advice throughout your blog. This is information that anyone can use, regardless of age. A lot of folks who have lost jobs due to current economic conditions could also benefit from internship-type of situations to help gain skills and fill in gaps (not to take away from the students though!). I truly wish I had had internship opportunities when I was in school – of course we’re talking 25 years ago 🙂 Keep up your good work!

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