Keeping Up After Your Internship

Keeping up after your internship

Keeping up after your internship

There’s no better way to maximize the experience, networking, and sweat, blood and tears that you put into your internship than to be the master of keeping up after your internship.

Having done my fair share of fashion public relations internships in my day, I wanted to share some of the wisdom I gained from past experiences and advice from mentors along the way. Establishing a long term relationship with co-workers, mentors, and other people that you meet during your internship is one of the biggest things people forget to do, but can be really helpful many years down the road. At Wantering, where I run the marketing and social media of a fashion tech start-up, my past colleagues and mentors have helped connect me with their networks and given me invaluable advice that I could not have gotten anywhere else.

Handwritten notes

It sounds easy, but everyone’s busy and it’s not hard to forget. Keep a list of your internship contacts in your calendar or address book, so when it’s time to send handwritten holiday cards, a happy birthday, congratulations on something the company did, or just a note to say hello, you’ll remember who you need to contact. You don’t need to write a long letter; a few short sentences to say hello a couple times a year can go a long way. I’ve personally sent Christmas cards to my old bosses for seven years and counting, and recently one told me that she looks forward to them every year. Who knew?

Connect digitally

Just before your internship ends or shortly thereafter, connect with your peers and bosses digitally. If you haven’t done so already, find them on Twitter and LinkedIn. And what about Facebook? We only suggest adding managers or supervisors on Facebook if you feel that they have become close friends of yours, so that you don’t confuse personal and professional relationships. I’ve only connected with a small handful of co-workers and managers on Facebook and kept the rest on LinkedIn.

Share news

If you think it’s awkward for you to say hi to a co-worker or manager, why not share an article or link to something that you think they would be interested in? This helps break the ice and shows them that you thought of them when reading an industry magazine or while browsing Twitter or LinkedIn. I’ll share an article with an old professor by way of, “I saw this article and it reminded me of that case study we did in your class…” and I always get a friendly response back.

Go for coffee

Nothing beats an in-person coffee date. If you have an opportunity to meet a mentor in person every few months, don’t be afraid to ask to go for coffee or lunch. One rule: make sure you’ve got something to say. Whether it’s a new job or promotion, a project you’re working on, or an organization you’ve joined, come prepared with multiple conversation topics and questions for your mentor in order to maintain an engaging conversation. I always offer to buy coffee; you can’t go wrong here!

By: Kathleen Ong 

Levo League

Levo League is the first online destination designed to provide Gen Y women with advice, mentorship and career opportunities. Follow us on Twitter at @levoleague.

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