The Post-Internship Rules

Summer vacation is over, but it never really started if you had a PR/marketing/social media internship. Even before you packed up your dorm/apartment, you were already working at that internship.

Well, now it’s time to head back to campus and say goodbye your supervisor and co-workers from that agency, firm, or business where you (hopefully) had great learning experience. Wait, did I tell you to say goodbye? Don’t!

Now is THE MOST IMPORTANT TIME of your internship. Why? Because you need to effectively use these last days in helping you move forward for your career. Here are five things that should be part of a Post-Internship Checklist:

  • Check with your internship supervisor regarding work you can use in your portfolio. You may have felt you did a bulk of the work, but review the projects you worked on with your superior(s). See if it is okay to use clients’ names, projects in a portfolio to show potential future employers or internships.
  • Provide tangible results. You may have nailed a number of media placements or garnered new Facebook followers. Use statistics to show the before and after as well as the planning behind it. Potential employers love to see your planning and implementation skills.

    Miranda certainly remembered Andy, right?

  • Ask for a letter of recommendation and to use as a reference NOW. Don’t wait until later when a supervisor MAY not remember who you are. You are on their minds now. Ask if you can call down the road and use them as a reference. Also important: Make sure that you let that reference know you are going to use them. Nothing is more embarrassing than a potential employer calling a reference and they are caught off guard.
  • Update your LinkedIn profile (if you haven’t already). Much like adjusting your resume is number one, taking the time to update LinkedIn should be 1A. It also would be a good idea to take my third point and ask for a LinkedIn recommendation.
  • Make ‘em Smile- I know… students don’t always have a ton of money. Dropping off muffins and coffee is something that isn’t going to break the bank. It also shows you appreciated the time you spent there. Yes, a simple “Thank You” note is also fine. Handwritten, of course.

Think your boss may remember you in a few months? Maybe. But, take the time to make sure they WILL NOT forget. Make certain your most-recent (or first) internship helps lead you to success after you get your degree.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.


About JasMollica

"It's never too late to have a life and it's never too late to change one." That's something I tell students, friends, and family all the time. After living and working in New York City, I took my own advice in 2004, switched my career from the television/radio industry and got into public relations. Now, I spend my days as a PR/social media marketing consultant and get inspired daily. It's been a good ride, so far. But the car has plenty of gas left. I hope you'll join along in this guy's journey!

Posted on August 15, 2012, in Hot Topic, Job Search, Personal Branding and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Definitely some good advice here. I want to be able to take what I’ve done here and put it into my portfolio, but I’m going to ask what I can and cannot put on display first. Due to the nature of the company, there’s things they want to keep internally and I want to respect that. Great post Jason!

    • Hi Justin!
      Thanks for reading. One of the reasons I gave that tip about checking is because, exactly as you pointed out, some companies don’t want to disclose publicly who the represent.
      Happy to hear this advice helps!

  2. Excellent tips, Jason! I would add to #1 to be cautious about taking credit (on your resume, LinkedIn profile, and elsewhere) for group or team projects without specifying it was a team effort. It’s tempting to embellish, but it most certainly will come back to bite you.

    • Hi Tressa!
      It sure will. I think in some ways we like to embellish what we do. It’s important to make sure to take credit, but also make sure you don’t steal or lie about what you’ve done. Be truthful!

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