The Final Goodbye

Ryan Greene ’15 – Media Arts and Entertainment, Broadcast & New Media, PWS Minor

The Final Goodbyerg2

Goodbyes are always hard. But goodbyes are also always important. From my internship experiences, I have learned that the last day of work comes a lot faster than expected. There is SO MUCH an intern has to do before he or she leaves the office, that I thought it would be a good idea to make a “Last Week Checklist.”

Clean Out Your Email

Most internships provide interns with a company email and a lot of the time that email address becomes an intern’s best friend. Email is normally how you communicate with everyone in the office and by the time your internship is over, you’ve accumulated a lot of messages in your inbox. So, before you shut down your computer for the final time, make sure you start sorting through all your emails to figure out which ones are staying and which ones are going. If you were smart (I wasn’t) you would have created a “keep” folder in your inbox to make this process 100 times easier. Either way you’re going to want to make sure anything you want to keep is forwarded to your personal email.

The pro of having a “keep” folder is it speeds up this forwarding process to only take about five minutes. The con of not having this “keep” folder is going through emails one by one takes forever (though it is a fun trip down memory lane). No matter which method you end up using, make sure you also keep track of what important email addresses you should add to your contact list. Just because your email address goes “bye-bye” doesn’t mean your communication with your co-workers should. Write down the email addresses of those you were closest with and make sure you follow up with them every couple of months to keep the communication going. Who knows- you might even find out about job opportunities this way (fingers crossed you do!)

Wrap Up Projects

You know that good, ole “To-Do” list you carry around with you every day during your internship? Well, all of those items have to be checked-off before you leave. So if you have to come in extra early and stay extra late during the last week of your internship, do it. The last thing you want is to be the intern who left their supervisor hanging with tons of unfinished projects. Be sure to use a Scrum Backlog or list to prioritize your “To-Do’s” so you can visualize which projects will take some time, which can be done quickly and which need to be finished up right away.

If you have an ongoing project, like a report that needs to be turned in weekly, make sure you discuss with your supervisor who this project should be passed along to. If another intern will be taking over the project, make sure you sit down with them and explain everything. Give yourself a week or two to transition the project over to the new intern so they have time to ask any questions and can practice putting the document together with your supervision. If the project is a little complex, it’s never a bad idea to put together an instruction manual for them to follow. This way, when you leave, they have a written document they can refer to that should be able to answer any of their questions.

Check In With Your Supervisor

Your supervisor is the reason you are at your internship. More than likely, they were the one to interview you and to let you know you got the job. So make sure you specifically make time to sit down and talk with them during your last week. It’s always a good idea to see what your supervisor has to say of your performance over the last few months. Be sure to bring a notebook so you can keep track of what they liked and what you can work on. Write down everything- 1) it shows you are listening and paying attention and 2) it’s important information.

This is also the time to ask for any letters of recommendation you might need. Besides having this internship to add to your resume, having a positive letter of recommendation boosts your portfolio and makes you a better candidate for any jobs you might apply for in the future. Asking for your letter of recommendation while still at your internship means that you and all your accomplishments are still fresh on your supervisor’s brain and they can write you the best recommendation possible. If you were to wait too long after your internship to ask for your recommendation, your supervisor’s memory might get a little fuzzy and they might not be able to write about your accomplishments in as great of detail.

Thank You Notes

Fact: no one has ever disliked a thank you note. Spending the extra time to write a note by hand is an uncommon practice in this digital world and shows that you went the extra mile to let someone know you appreciated their help. Also, getting a little gift from someone else brightens everyone’s day. So if you have the opportunity to brighten your coworkers’ days (and potentially your future employer’s!) do it.

The biggest thing to do for thank you notes is to make them personal. If you have a distinct memory with one of your colleagues, be sure to include that in your note. This shows that you didn’t mass-produce your thank you notes and that you actually took the time to individualize your messages. You can also use the thank you note to encourage future contact between yourself and your soon-to-be former colleagues. In your notes to the people you worked with, you have the perfect opportunity to include your personal email address and/or phone number.

Say Goodbye… In Person

Don’t just sneak out of the office on your last day. Even if you’re shy, make sure you go up to the people that you worked with and let them know you’re leaving. It will mean a lot to your coworkers if you specifically make a point of saying goodbye to them. It shows that you cared. Saying that final goodbye in person also allows you to leave one last good impression with your coworkers. Leave a lasting impression with as many people as possible, so you stick out in people’s minds for when job opportunities come up.

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