Helping student interns document their success at their internships

November 28, 2011 at 11:29 am | Posted in Intern Advice | Leave a comment
Coach Susan Sandberg

Susan Sandberg

A recent business story in The New York Times featured a profile of the CEO of Manischewitz. Part of his success story included his internship that turned into a job with a group of cheese producers and the rest is history. Another positive story revolves around a woman who interned at Rolls-Royce and was recruited to stay on and promoted to project manager. To leverage internships into jobs, your interns need to make sure that they receive proper documentation for their hard work.

Such tangible proof of performance will strengthen their resumes and help them transition internships into jobs or better internships.

  • Ensure that the intern supervisor fills out the final evaluation form, which you may have to provide. Both you and each student should receive a copy of the final evaluation form. If the intern has performed well, he /she should ask the supervisor to write a letter of recommendation, complimenting the student on his/her work, on the company letterhead.
  • Collect documentation. If the intern supervisor has sent you weekly evaluations that are positive, you might want to make copies of those evaluations and present them in a folder to your student intern, so he/she can use them to get other internships or positions.
  • Advise interns to obtain fresh copies of every item on which they have worked. Your student intern may have contributed to a report or document that will not be finalized until after the internship is over. When that report or document appears, encourage your interns to request a copy and leave a forwarding address.
  • Suggest that your students ask other employees with whom they’ve worked to also write recommendation letters. If your intern has been part of a team, perhaps the team leader would be willing to write a recommendation for the intern. Or if your student has moved around to different departments, the intern might ask various department heads to write recommendations.
  • Offer to help your student intern collate these materials into a professional presentation. You might have a handsome school binder or folder that you could give to the intern. Recommend that your student intern also include information, such as annual reports, newsletters, etc. about the company to demonstrate interest in the company.
  • Remind your students to update their resumes with the achievements from their internships. They may need to have some help in reorganizing the resume, such as understanding which older items to delete in order to make space for the newer material. If they utilize LinkedIn, they might want to add new contacts from their internships to facilitate networking.

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