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Crafting your internship exit strategy

Jenna Johnson

Today's guest blogger is Erin Williams, a copy aide here at The Post who has done three internships in the D.C. area.

It's the end of your internship -- but don't grab a couple of beers and slide down the escape chute a la flight attendant Steven Slater. Here are some tips for ending on a high-note and maximizing your chances to come back next summer (perhaps for a job).

erinwilliams.jpgBe indispensable
Whenever you have free time during your internship, observe the office and see where improvements can be made. Subtle suggestions can lead to new opportunities and show your creativity and insight. If your boss is new to online social networking, offer to help set up Facebook and Twitter accounts and help to update the Web site. Your help could land you in a new media position that didn't even exist before.

Explore the rest of the city
If you have a few free days before you officially leave the city, set up an informational interview at other places where you might want to work. Sitting and chatting with a staff member while you are still in the area can help you learn more about positions at that company and help you establish a connection.

Say good-bye
Leave on a high note, so that everyone you worked with will remember you fondly. Make sure to say goodbye to everyone and to finish up the projects you were working on. If you were unable to finish them, let your higher up know so the responsibility can be delegated to someone else. If you are really gunning for brownie points, feel free to bring in a few baked goods to say farewell.

College connections
Continue to explore your alumni network before, during and after your internship. A university connection is a good networking tool when it comes to setting up an interview.

Keep in touch
Keep in contact with those in your office, even after you have left. If you have to go back to school and will need a job after graduation, make sure to eemail your supervisors least every two to three months. Since they already know your interests, they can send you job listings and help to shop your name around to those who are hiring.

Check out our new intern website, Intern City!

Campus Overload is a daily must-read for all D.C. interns. So, make sure to bookmark http://washingtonpost.com/campus-overload. You can also follow me on Twitter and fan Campus Overload on Facebook.

By Erin Williams  |  August 11, 2010; 11:45 AM ET
Categories:  D.C. Interns  | Tags: Internships  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Pencil boxes: Prepare to welcome liquid graphite
Next: Parents: Let go of your college kids

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