Portrait of successful middle aged businesswoman standing at her office.

Just a short while ago, you left a life-changing experience. You saw and experienced many new lessons that will serve you well in future work opportunities if you take the time to internalize and put your learnings to work.

Reflection on your internship experience will help remind you of its great value. Below are a few questions to think about as you reflect.

What was your most significant accomplishment while you were working, and can you communicate its value?

  • What new skills did you develop while you were and are you continuing to practice them?
  • What did you learn from a manager or supervisor that could help make you be a better leader in the workplace?
  • What people helped shape your experience and have you made them a part of your network?

Now that your memory is refreshed, check in with yourself on the three important follow-up items below.

Have you updated your resume?

You know the importance of your resume in the job search process. Your ability to write about your internship experience using “accomplishment statements” will make an impact with future employers. Develop several bulleted items with metrics that describe your contribution and add them under a description of your internship.

Have you formulated an elevator speech about your internship?

Communication is one of the most important professional skills you can develop. You can make an impact in an interview or business conversation by learning how to succinctly and precisely describe your experience. Action-oriented and positive words within short statements will keep a listener’s attention. Practice describing your internship experience in two minutes.  Follow this guide to shape your description:

  • Introduction: 30 Seconds. Give the name of the employer and your site location.  Share one descriptive point of interest about the organization.  For example, XYZ is a leading global investment banking, securities and investment management firm that maintains offices in all major financial centers around the world.
  • Body: 60 Seconds. Give your title and role at the organization; describe your main responsibilities. Talk about technical and professional skills you learned and developed.  Highlight a main accomplishment from the internship.
  • Wrap Up: 30 Seconds. Share your most significant learning from the experience. Describe how it will impact you professionally and why it will make you a better employee.

Are you staying connected with your expanded network?

Networking is a long-term career strategy, and you need to start practicing now to take care of your valuable contacts.

  • Have you created a contact list of your internship contacts with email, phone?
  • Have you updated and polished your LinkedIn profile?
  • Have you googled yourself to be sure you are aware of what your network is seeing about you?

If you haven’t been in contact with your new network recently, take a minute to reach out now with a quick email or call. Acknowledge what your learned, and be grateful for your experience.

In any form of experiential learning or internship, the real learning comes after the actual experience. Make sure you make the most of it!

Thanks for taking time to check in with Knopman Marks today.