Congratulations, you did it! The end seems so far away at first and before you know it, your internship is complete. If you’re lucky enough to have fantastic coworkers, the journey through your internship probably went faster than you thought it would. Completing an internship sets your resume apart from others and makes you a more valuable candidate for a future job. What do you do once your internship ends? I’m here to highlight some of the actions to take.
Be sure to thank your coworkers and managers for giving you this awesome experience. I will never be able to express my gratitude towards my team members for the help and direction they provided to me. Be sure to connect on LinkedIn and connect to your former coworkers. You never know when a connection might come in handy.
Also, if you were an inbound marketing intern like myself or you were in a position where you were trusted with confidential information, you will have a lot of leftover documents and information to deal with. I had bookmarks for all of my clients’ accounts, saved passwords, and other information bulking up my laptop I had to get rid of. Remember the business ethics class you took in college? Time to be ethical and delete anything you shouldn’t have anymore. Don’t share confidential information or any sensitive information related to your internship or place of business. Also, never speak poorly about your internship. It doesn’t matter if something didn’t go your way, never talk negatively about someone who took a chance on you and helped you out.
Remember What You Learned From Your Marketing Internship
Once you wrap up the paperwork and have any credits you earned transferred over to your college, write down what you learned. I know, you just finished your internship, why do you need to take more notes? Because you aren’t going to remember how to do the really complex tasks you learned once and still barely have the hang of come six months from now. Do yourself a favor and write down some of the important facts you learned.
A good practice is to write down how to use any program or software you may have been taught while at your internship. It’s in our nature to think we can remember everything but we simply can’t. Take notes on any software you used and might use again in the future. I created a Pinterest board of helpful marketing and social inbound tips I learned during my internship. Take notes in whatever way is best suited for your learning style. But no matter what you do, write it down.
Know Yourself Before Your Next Move
Give yourself a pat on the back, reward yourself with your favorite candy or coffee (or both) and give yourself some time to rest. You worked hard, you deserve a reward and a moment to breathe. Now that you’re done with the internship, you will have to restart the job/internship search process.
Before diving into the job pool, consider what you actually want to do next. Was your internship everything you dreamed and you want to further your experience with it? Was it fine but you know there are other options you want to explore? Did your internship suck and now you want to switch majors all together? Ask yourself these questions before you start the hunt so you'll know what you want out of your next job or internship.
Once you get an inkling of where you want to go next, you get to go through the job/internship search process again! It sounds painful and like you just did that, but this is what needs to be done. Refer The Five Stages That Led to My Inbound Marketing Internship to read more into the interview process and how to find jobs, but also use simple job search websites such as indeed.com or Monster.com to browse available jobs.
Also think about exploring other fields. I liked my internship and know that I want to learn more about social inbound marketing, but this might not be the same case for you. Though it is a hard fact to face, it might be time to try something new. It’s never too late to try something new. Don’t let your college major or previous work experience hinder you from trying new things.
Consider Another Internship
You mean I can do another internship? Yes, the final recommended route is the chance to do another internship. One internship will set you apart from the flock, but two internships will show how much you truly want to be in this field. It also means getting a chance to gain more industry knowledge, push yourself to try harder this time around, and learn how other businesses with similar focuses operate.
The step I’m taking next is to stay within the marketing field. I adored working at Leighton Interactive. It was the first job where I woke up every morning and thought “I can’t wait to go to work today!” The work was interesting, the people were open and entertaining, and I felt useful. In truth, this internship made me happier than any job I had ever had. Each day had a new goal and I loved accomplishing my goals! Were there some days that were rougher than others? There sure as heck was, but the fact of the matter was I wanted to go back and try even harder after a bad day.
After your internship is done, hopefully you have a gut feeling about what you should do next. I can’t tell you which path to take, no one can. You are the one who gets to decide what job you are satisfied with and what will make you happy in the end. So get out there and find yourself a job or an internship and start learning what makes you happy.