After 5 months of working with The Intern Group, my time abroad is sadly coming to an end. I thought it would be fitting to write a blog post about leaving an internship and how to make a lasting impression. Whether you are hoping to continue working for the company or you’re looking forward to going home, it’s important to end your internship on a high. The last few weeks at your internship will most likely be how people will remember you, so make sure that you stay motivated and interested until the very end. Here are my tips on how to make a lasting impression and how to be remembered at your international internship.
How to make a lasting impression at your internship abroad
1. Finish your work properly
When you know that you only have a few days or weeks left it can be easy to get a bit lazy and inefficient. However, it is important that you continue to work as hard as when you first arrived. You wanted to make a good first impression then, and now is no different. You still need to work hard if you want people to remember you well. Be sure to finish up any projects or tasks that you were given, and hand them in well completed before you leave. If you need to hand over any work to your colleagues, I would recommend leaving a list of the things that you have done and what is left to be completed.
Tie up all loose ends and make sure that your colleagues know when you are leaving and what exactly they need to take over from you. It will look unprofessional and sloppy if you leave your tasks half done and your colleagues have to pick up the pieces. Take initiative and make sure that your work emails get forwarded onto a colleague when you leave and that your account gets deactivated. Your boss will be grateful that you’ve finished your work and tasks properly and efficiently.
2. Ask for advice
Another way to end your internship well is to ask for feedback and advice. This will show that, despite the fact that you are finishing, you are still interested in their opinions and taking their advice to improve in the future. This will be useful for you when applying for future internships and jobs, so make sure that you make the most of this learning experience. Your colleagues will be impressed to see that you are expressing further interest in your career field and will be more than happy to answer any questions.
3. Thank your colleagues
Before you leave make sure to thank your colleagues and your boss for looking after you and welcoming you into the company. Even though you have been a great asset to them, they will be touched to hear that you have also enjoyed working there and appreciated their help and guidance. I would suggest writing a card for the company as this is more personal and tangible than an email. This is the same for anyone else who’s had a big impact on your time abroad, such as your program coordinator or even the barista at your favorite coffee place.
It could also be a nice idea to bring in cookies or a cake for everyone on your last day, and suggest going out for drinks or lunch to say goodbye to everyone properly. This attention to detail shows that you care and will make you stand out from those who slip away unnoticed after finishing their internship.
4. Ask if you want more
If you want to continue working for the company, make sure that you say so! Don’t be shy to demonstrate your enthusiasm as you may be surprised at the result. Many interns have gone on to work for their company full-time. Even if there is no availability for a full-time position, your colleagues could help you find a position somewhere else or in another office. Be sure to leave them with your contact details. Maybe they’ll have availability in the future. If you leave a lasting impression, they will most likely think of you first!
5. Keep in touch
When you get home it would be nice to send a follow-up email or postcard to your company to check how things are going. Whether you want to stay in the same career field or not, your colleagues are valuable contacts to have for the future and can help you if you have any questions about work in general. You can also keep them updated with your life and happenings and offer for them to come and visit you at some point!
The most important is that you leave feeling happy and satisfied with your time abroad.
I hope that you have found my blog posts helpful in answering all of your questions and queries. And don’t worry, “Ask the intern” will still continue as normal, and will be passed on to the next intern.
If you haven’t secured an internship abroad yet, apply today for a life-changing personal and professional experience!
Photo 1. by The Intern Group.
Photo 2. based on Calendar by Dafne Cholet, CC-by-2.0.
Photo 3. by The Intern Group.