7 Smart Things to Do After Your Internship Ends

Source: Business Insider

BRAZEN LIFE OCT. 17, 2013, 6:00 AM

Internships are the secret ingredient to kickstarting your career. But a few miscalculated steps after your internship ends could dampen your image for years to come.

Whether you loved or hated your internship, burning bridges isn’t going to do your career any favors. Take Anthony Weiner’s former intern Olivia Nuzzi, for example. While she certainly got a lot of media attention for providing an inside look into his campaign, people have mixed views on whether that helped or harmed her career.

Here are seven ways to keep your professional image intact after your internship ends:

1. Don’t forget to say thank you

As your internship comes to end — or even if you’re already gone — it’s your duty to personally thank everyone you worked with during that period.Recognition is important, even if you didn’t thoroughly enjoy the working experience.

Verbal thank yous aren’t enough, either. Go with the handwritten thank you note. For each person you write, provide specifics about what you appreciated. Maybe they showed you the ropes on a new project or made your lunch break more bearable by sharing a table with you. Whatever it is, avoid a canned response.

2. Don’t badmouth anyone

Unfortunately, some internship experiences aren’t positive. You may have had a less-than-impressive manager or duties that lacked educational value, but it’s best not to share your opinions publicly. Don’t tweet or Facebook your distaste for an employer, ever.

Instead, keep it constructive. If you didn’t get the chance to share your opinions about your experience in a one-on-one meeting with your internship or human resources manager, consider reaching out to them in an email. Just remember not to be overly negative — you never know when you’ll need a reference.

3. Don’t lie about your experience

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