Make a Professional Transition from Intern to Intern

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I can’t believe it’s already Thanksgiving! This semester has gone so fast, at least for me. For those of you interning this semester, I’m guessing it went by quickly for you as well. We’re now entering the final month of fall internships.

Depending on the type of internship you have, there might be another student filling that intern role next semester. As a successful intern, do your part to help ease this transition:

  • Finish your personal projects. You likely have projects that you’ve been working on during your internship that are yours and yours alone. Make sure to wrap up these projects before the end of your internship. These projects are your contribution to your internship site, and they also serve evidence of your experience. The end point of your internship is not time to slack off. Work hard right up until the end.
  • Bring continuing projects to a good transition point. If you are currently working on a project that will be continued by your successor, identify a good stopping point for your work and complete your portion of the project up until that point. It would also be helpful to write up succinct notes on the project: the work you’ve done and the next steps. Providing a context for the project will hopefully help the incoming intern easily pick up where you left off.
  • Prepare transition materials. In addition to preparing some notes on continuing projects, you might want to prepare some other transition materials for your successor. This might include technical information, like computer passwords, and/or information on typical works tasks. If you didn’t inherit any materials when you began your internship, think about what information would have been helpful to know when you began. Odds are the intern following you will have some of the same questions. If there is no “intern manual,” you might take this opportunity to start one. Then, future interns can add to it.

It’s important to leave your internship on a good note, and doing your part to ease the transition to the next intern can be part of this. You will appear professional and organized. What could be a better parting memory to leave your internship supervisor and site with than that?

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Photo by thms.nl (http://www.flickr.com/photos/thms/ / CC BY 2.0)

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