Summer is coming to an end and thousands of college students will be packing their bags to move back to campus. For many, the end of summer also means the end of an internship. As you are clearing off your desk and collecting email addresses, you may be wondering what your next steps should be.
At Legion, we have interns come through each summer and many of them are now full time employees. Here are some tips directly from Legion management and current interns on how to make sure you get the most out of your internship experience, and utilize the skills and networks that you’ve built.
From our President, Lacy Starling:
You’ve managed many interns over the years at Legion. As a boss, what is the best thing an intern can do to make sure they end the internship positively?
I think it is always a great idea to ask your direct supervisor for a wrap-up meeting (if they don’t offer one) to discuss your projects, transitioning the work you were doing to someone else and just to get their feedback on your performance. Those types of meetings can help alleviate the slow drift-off that often happens with internships.
What advice do you have for students who may want to utilize internship experience for a future career?
I think there are a couple of things. Show up prepared on your first day – do research before you arrive to ensure you understand the organization and what they do, how they do it, who they are, etc. When you are in your internship, make sure your bosses know you are looking for work that is challenging. Volunteer for projects, get to know people and make yourself useful. And after the internship, keep in touch. The contacts you make in these positions will be useful as you continue your career.
From Human Resources:
What is something that you’ve seen an intern do that probably jeopardized their opportunity for full time employment?
Not showing up for work. We had an intern that in a 3 week period showed up for a total of 1 week. She would also come to work and do her homework. Treat the internship like it’s your first job out of college.
– Danielle, HR Manager at Legion
What is your best tip for students to make the most of their internship experience and network they’ve built once they leave the internship?
Work hard, meet as many people during your time at the company as possible, and don’t forget to send thank you notes! Real, handwritten thank-yous remind people of your great work and will be remembered if you apply for a full-time position in the future.
– Rachel, Legion Recruiter
From our Current Interns:
What is something you have done this summer that helped prove your abilities to Legion management and may give you an advantage when it comes time to look for full time employment?
This summer I managed a database that required me to work with all of the brokers and report things back to management. I was able to work with almost everyone in the office, and the entire management team has seen what I can do.
– Hunter, Legion Sales Intern
What is something that you did at the end of your last internship that helped you, something that you will also do at Legion?
There were a few things, really. The first was to update my resume and LinkedIn profile with all of my new experiences. This was helpful to do before I left because I was able to have my manager and other colleagues help me with wording. The other things that were really helpful were to write thank you notes and have wrap-up meetings. I gave handwritten thank you notes to my whole team, and had join-ups where I discussed future career plans. I received valuable advice and even got a couple of letters of recommendation for future opportunities!
– Lindsey, Legion Marketing Intern
It seems like no matter who you talk to, everyone seems to think that networking, professionalism, and eagerness for the work are key to a successful internship both during the summer and after you head back to school.
For all of those headed back to campus, have a great semester. As for our Legion interns, they’ve all decided to stay with us through the fall. Check back later in the week for some advice on balancing work and school!