New York — July 30
For many students, the siren song of late starting classes and frat parties is beckoning them back to college, leaving their summer internships behind.
Not so fast.
A summer job is far too important to just exit without making certain that you are well-remembered. “While you may think you are unforgettable, assume you’re not,” said Robert Graber, founder of WallStJobs.com. “You should use the next few weeks as part of a plan to make a lasting impression.”
“In many firms, even the best interns can be quickly forgotten as the routine pressures of year-end business cycles tend to erase individual faces and accomplishments,” Graber noted. “And, yet, the summer work experience is perhaps the most powerful part of your resume when you are looking for that first job. So by all means, take steps to avoid becoming an invisible intern.”
Here are some things you can do now, before you return to school, that can help:
- Get e-mail addresses. Make certain you have good contact information for all the people you worked with.
- Give a bear. Or a tiger. Or whatever your school mascot is. It doesn’t have to be a stuffed animal, but giving a key chain or golf balls with your school’s logo on it as a small thank you gift with a well-crafted note (no e-mail here) is a real memory-maker.
- Take pictures. When appropriate, bring a camera and take pictures of your supervisor, associates and any other people you have had contact with. After you return to school, send a photo noting how much you enjoyed the experience of working with the individual.
“Even if you are fairly certain that you do not want to make a career at the firm or even in the industry, don’t short change yourself by skipping these steps,” Graber cautioned. “The contacts you have made can provide valuable work references and they represent the beginning of your professional network. Be sure to maintain your visibility to them.”