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Next Steps: After Your Internship

December 15, 2016 10:42 pm Published by 3 Comments


“Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.” Tony Robbins

Some people know exactly what they want to do when the go into an internship. Some people change their mind and some don’t. And then there are those of us who were not sure going in but now have a better idea of where the first place to land after graduation might be.

Whatever the case, after finishing an internship follow-up quickly is important. Graduation will come up fast and if you do not already have a job offer, it is important not to lose the momentum of what was gained through the internship.

You should have gained a network. As soon as you can thank them formally. Send a well written email or (gasp) a handwritten note expressing your thanks and asking them how you might serve them in the future. Also, do not lose contact with your network, give them occasional updates or follow-ups to stay in touch.

You should have some fresh ideas about occupations/industries/organizations. Use that information to organize and start a job search.

If you have a job offer in hand, you should have better skills now to assess your value and determine if accepting a job offer from your internship employer is the right move. Remember that job offers are not on the table according to your timetable and it is not a good idea to keep a prospective employer “hanging” for more than just a few days.

You should have new skills and experiences. Update your resume and LinkedIn profile to reflect your added value.

Finally, set some goals. As Tony Robbins reminds us, it is pretty hard to know what you want to do unless you identify it first. If goals freak you out, remember that they are meant to be changed. Write them in pencil so you can erase them with something new or modify what you already have.

Author: Brian Hirsch writes about transitioning from internships to the real world.  He also assists university students to discover their “why,” and figure out the best place for them to land after graduation. He works with the Career Center at the University of North Texas with a focus in the College of Business.

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