So this past Friday was sadly my last day at the Michener. It has been an absolute privilege and joy to work at the museum this summer. I met so many wonderful, kind people who helped me to grow personally and professionally. Throughout my weeks there, I gained pedagogical, administrative, technological, and artistic skills that I can apply to whatever career path I choose in the future. I’ll always remember the memories I made this summer.
But instead of listening to me wax sentimental, I thought I’d finish off my blog with some general tips for wrapping up your internship:
- Tie up any loose ends. Show your initiative and conscientiousness by making sure you’ve accomplished all of the projects and tasks you were supposed to. Tying up loose ends shows that you take pride in your work and take your internship seriously.
- Show your gratitude. Of course, verbally thank the people you’ve worked with for the opportunity to work with them. A handwritten thank-you note is also a “must”; for someone like me who has trouble with verbal goodbyes, a thank-you note gets to say all the things you would like to say. Also, consider getting a small gift. This can be tricky, as it needs to be both professional and personal. It doesn’t need to be fancy or expensive; something from the heart is best. For example, I got mini canvases and easels at A.C.Moore and painted some designs with art quotes on them.
- Exchange contact information. Make sure your supervisor has your updated email and phone number, and vice versa, in order to stay in touch. Most people WANT to hear from their interns to see what they’re doing post-internship and are happy to help in any way.
- Have an exit interview. Your last day at the internship is a prime opportunity to reflect on your internship experience and discuss your accomplishments, strengths, and areas of improvement with your supervisor. This shows a willingness to improve yourself and can help prepare you for future interviews.
- Request a letter of recommendation. My supervisor was kind and proactive enough to write individual letters of recommendation for all of the interns and send us all hard and electronic copies. If your supervisor doesn’t do this, don’t be afraid to ask politely. It is better for her to write a recommendation when you’re fresh in her mind than to come back and ask for one a few years later.
Many thanks to my supervisor at the Michener, the adjunct faculty at the museum, and the Dickinson College Career Center for awarding me an Internship Grant to help make this experience a possibility for me. This opportunity has opened up a lot of doors for me, and I’m excited to see where life takes me.