To-Do List: Post Internship

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*They forced me to wear that medal…

I had the pleasure of working as a digital media planning intern for MediaCom in Chicago last summer. It was a fantastic experience. I learned a lot, met some wonderful people, and got my foot in the advertising world. While I was getting ready to leave, and in the months that have followed, I’ve taken a few steps to make the most of my past internship.

1. Say “Thank You”

People like to know that they’re appreciated, so take the time to tell your co-workers how much you appreciated their time and effort. They spent a lot of their time teaching you the ropes and integrating you into the company. Don’t just say thank you – invest in some thank you cards so they can have something to hold on to and remember you by. Trust me, a thank you goes a long way.

2. Update Your Resume

This step should happen before you even leave your internship. Try to schedule a review between you and your supervisor(s). Get their feedback on what you did well and what you need to improve on. During your review, ask your supervisor(s) to look over your current resume and ask what they think you should put under your job description. There are a lot of aspects of your internship you might not consider important, but others do, and your supervisor can give you some powerful insight. This would also be the appropriate time to ask for a letter of recommendation. Keep in mind, supervisors and managers are busy people and might not be able to produce a letter of recommendation right away, but ask if they’d be willing to in the future.

3. Stay Connected

We’ve all been told time and again how important networking is. This is not a lie! Stay connected to the people you worked with. Take the time to connect with them on social media platforms such as LinkedIn. It’s important to continue to foster the relationships you had with your coworkers. Who knows, if they saw your hard work ethic and great attitude, they might help you find a job!

4. Stay Updated

After your internship, it’s important to stay updated on your company and the industry overall. Now that you’ve had a taste of the “real world” you need to stay up to date on what’s going on. Furthermore, when you talk about your internship experience in future interviews it’s important to know what the company has been up to in case the interviewer asks. It’ll show you really cared about your past professional experiences.

5. Reflect

After you’ve completed your internship take time to reflect on your experiences. What did you learn about the industry? What did you like about the job? What didn’t you like about the job? Will you be pursuing this type of career, or not? Internships are great for finding what you love, but they are equally important for realizing what you don’t. Take the time to really think and reflect on your internship experience.

Photo by Shannon Waisath.

Personalizing Your LinkedIn Account

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LinkedIn, or any professional networking for that matter, is all about selling yourself. You have to convince people that you are the right fit for the job or internship opening.

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Marketing yourself as a desirable product is really what you’re trying to accomplish on LinkedIn. Every marketing major knows the four P’s of marketing: Product, Price, Placement, and Promotion. Those 4 elements are at  the core of successfully selling any product. However, there is a now a fifth P: Personalization. Personalization requires a connection between the marketer (you) and the consumer (the prospective employer). Personalizing your LinkedIn account is easy! Here are three easy steps to achieving personalization perfection on LinkedIn.

1. Send personal messages.

When you click to connect with someone on LinkedIn, an automatic message is included with your request to connect. Do not fall victim to sending the standard message. First, make sure to delete the automated message. Next, write a short (only a few sentences) message to the person you want to connect with. If you’ve met them in person, bring up something unique the two of you chatted about. If you haven’t met them in person, tell them why you want to connect. Are they in the field you’re interested in? Do you have a strong mutual connection? Make sure to let them know you aren’t serial adding people on LinkedIn to get more connections. They need to feel like their connection means something to you.

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2. Add your interests and hobbies to your profile.

While LinkedIn is a professional network, you should also share some personal things about yourself. I don’t advocate sharing deeply personal things about yourself, like how much money you make or the details of your relationships. Reveal the personal things about yourself that speak about your character and who you really are. There’s an “additional info” section where you can slip in a few personal details about yourself. Include hobbies that  you genuinely enjoy (e.g. blogging, running, crafting, hiking, etc.). Adding these personal touches can help a recruiter learn a little more about what kind of person you are. It can also lead to a great connection! Recruiters like hiring people who are like them, so if you share a common hobby they may be more apt to hire you.

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3. Be active on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn is a social networking site, so be social! It’s important that you not only make an awesome LinkedIn page, but that you also interact with people on it. Post industry-relevant information, say congrats on people’s new jobs or accomplishments, and endorse your connection’s skill sets. Staying active on LinkedIn will help your connections stay fresh. If your connections see you posting information, or if you endorse their skills, they’ll be more likely to look at your page. If you’re feeling extra ambitious you can take it a step further and write a recommendation for someone. Maybe they’ll return the favor!

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Photos by Marco Ghitti and UWW Career.