Keep in touch with contacts made during internships

The summer is over, and for those students who have just finished up an internship, the days of wearing business casual and trying to memorize the names of everyone in the office building just to leave three months later are finished. But even though the 9-5 workday is done, there are still a few things to remember post-internship.

Ian Estabrook, sophomore in Media, knows that the work done after an internship is just as important as the work done during an internship.

“Right now I’m updating my resume, and putting myself in a prime position for another internship, either at a bigger newspaper, or at the same company,” he said.

This summer, Estabrook interned at 22nd Century Media, an independent media company in Orland Park.

“I keep in contact with a lot of the people at work there through email, phone calls and texts,” he said. “Those were our main ways of communication while I worked there so nothing has really changed.”

According to Katie Flint, assistant director at the Career Center, this type of communication with a company is very important for future job opportunities.

“It’s not every week that you need to be emailing them, but maybe at least once or twice a semester,” she said. “Reaching out asking how different projects are going there, or maybe updating them with some of the things you have been doing at school.”

A few other ideas for reaching out are around the holiday time, wishing them a happy holiday, or if a news story comes out about something to do with that company that can be a reason to reach out as well. Asking for advice is a great idea too, because most colleagues or supervisors like to be asked for advice.

Another important idea to remember post-internship is updating your resume.

“Add that internship to your resume, and the sooner the better so everything is fresh in your mind,” said Flint. “You don’t want it to read just like a job description, but you do want it to say what you did there.”

A resume needs to describe what makes your experience different from everyone else’s.

“Really think about the different skills you were using to do the job, or any special projects you worked on, and certainly the results,” said Flint. “Whether it be that you increased some sort of sales numbers, increased customer or client numbers, or you just presented to a group or leadership team. Include what came out of the internship you had.”

Kacy Karcher, senior in Business, was on top of updating her resume before her internship even ended.

“I updated my resume before leaving the internship this summer,” she said. “I had my supervisor look it over, and I got help from my team to see how to word what I had been doing in the most effective way.”

Karcher found that using her colleagues at Caterpillar, the company she interned at this summer, was very useful.

“I found that to be super helpful because if I had waited and updated it once I got back, I wouldn’t have gotten their input which I think was super important,” she said.