You had a great summer! You had the opportunity to work with experienced professionals in your field and now you’re back in school so, what’s next? Here are few things that you need to take into consideration:
THANK YOU CARDS!
Nowadays in a fast-paced technological-world we do everything by email but mailing a thank you card makes a difference. A written card shows personal touch and interest in the person(s) you worked with. If you are mailing more than one, don’t write the same message but rather something specific to that person; they work in the same place, they will know! You still want to make a good impression, even after you left.
STAY IN TOUCH!
Although this seems obvious not a lot of people do it. Staying in touch can be difficult if you don’t know how to go about it, but just make sure to tell your supervisor(s) what is important. Don’t tell them all about your life instead, update them on things at school and work so they are in the loop. This helps because when it comes time to ask for a letter of recommendation or for a job, they can be your insiders and perhaps talk on your behalf in the office or school.
If you are not graduating soon, still keep in touch! Lots of students think they don’t need to be in contact because they don’t need them right away. Even if you still have some years before graduating, keep talking to them because of two things: first, you might be asked to return for another summer and second, you will need their letters of recommendation when looking for a job or applying to graduate school.
Remember you don’t need to email them every week and tell them everything that happened. Instead, update them every two months, you can even do once a month, so they remember who you are. The goal is to keep them in the loop and not annoy them with minimal stuff. If nothing too exciting has happened since your last communication you can add something that can help them, such as an article or idea to be included in their work to show that you are still interested.
LET THEM KNOW YOU NEED HELP!
Something very important is to contact them when you need a job or letter of recommendation. With letters of recommendation, first ask them if they will write one; if they agree, let them know ahead of time so they can think on what to write. If you are looking for a job don’t be shy to ask if there is an open position or if they will give you contact information of their friends in other companies.
Other items you need to consider are: to promote the internship and the experience you gained. Also, if you left a project hanging keep working on it. Lastly, if the experience was not the best, it has helped you redefine career goals and things you will like (or not) to work in.
Jacqueline Gamboa Varela is a student at the University of Texas at El Paso majoring in chemistry. She serves as the NSCS chapter president and is member of the National Leadership Council. She works in a research laboratory and her hobbies include playing the violin and watching movies.