How To Follow Up: Your internship is over. Now what?

 

Your internship is over. Now what?

So you’ve spent the past three or four months getting to know a company and the people in it. Whether your department throws you a farewell party in the conference room or gives you a faint “Goodbye” on your way out the door, do not let your efforts go to waste!

Most departments shuffle in new interns each semester, so leave your mark and don’t be afraid to keep in touch and remind them of your accomplishments. Your supervisor may not have verbalized his or her recognition of your successes throughout your internship, so never think your work has gone unnoticed.

Here are three specific things to keep in mind as your internship comes to a close:

 

  • Out of sight, out of mind? Don’t let this happen! Find a way to leave something behind that will remind your employers of you every time they see it. For example, offer to type up an “Intern’s Guide” for future interns. And don’t forget about the small things, too. While interning on a TV show last year, a fellow intern made labeled cups and separated the coffee packets into their respective containers. Our supervisors loved this and didn’t forget about it throughout the course of our internship.

 

  • Send a thank-you note in the mail or through email, whichever is more appropriate. You’d be surprised by how many people don’t do this. It doesn’t take a lot of time on your end and, more important, it shows you care.

 

  • Keep in touch! If you’ve gotten to know one or two (or more) people on a more personal level, keep in contact with them every six months or so. Shoot them an email and keep it personal! Rather than asking for a job, ask how their family and kids are doing. Then, months or years down the line when you’re looking for a job, your employer will remember your personal touch and dedication and may even refer you to someone who can help you out if they aren’t in a position to do so.

 

In the end, the key to following up is to start at the beginning. Don’t wait until the end of your internship to step up your game. Come in at the beginning of the semester with enthusiasm and let your supervisors know you’re there to learn and grow. People like when other people are interested in what they do, so show them you care. That way, when you follow up after your internship ends, they just might remember you over the intern who came in at 9:00 and left at 5:00 without even uttering a faint “Goodbye” on the way out the door.

 

Jonathan Hurwitz is a senior in the Film & TV Production program at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. After transferring to Tisch two years ago from the University of Michigan, Jonathan has held more than six internships on feature films and TV shows, including last summer’s Just Wright featuring Queen Latifah and Comedy Central’s The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. He is currently an intern through Universal Pictures on the upcoming Ben Stiller and Eddie Murphy movie Tower Heist. He writes about everything from happiness to Justin Bieber on his own blog and that Twitter thang.

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