By: Chad Collins, University Career Services
Many UNC students have spent the summer working at an internship or a part time job. Hopefully you had a wonderful experience and learned a great deal about what you are looking for in a future career. As your internship experience comes to an end, it is important to reflect on the experience and understand exactly what you learned, what skills you gained, and how you might use these newfound skills and contacts going forward. Here are some tips to get you started with your internship evaluation:
- Evaluate what you have learned
Review the goals that you set for yourself before the internship started. It is important to evaluate learned skills and how they will help you in a future job search. Did the internship live up to your expectations? Did you live up to your own expectations? Was your final evaluation from your supervisor in line with your perceived performance? Are you more confident in your abilities as a result of this internship? Did you genuinely enjoy the work?
- Make a list of new contacts
Who did you work with during the internship? Who did you work for? Are there people that you think could help you out in your future career development? Keep track of all the people you worked with and how you plan to keep in contact in the future. A LinkedIn contact can be great, but most people will forget about an intern a few months after they are gone unless that intern makes a point of staying in touch. If needed, plan out who you are going to contact and when. Be diligent in updating these contacts with your current academic and job search situations.
- Update your resume
Be sure to update your resume to reflect all of your internship accomplishments and experiences. Even if the internship was in a different career field than your desired full time field, you will have gained important transferable skills that will be needed regardless of what field you eventually choose. Focus on quantities and tangible outcomes when writing your resume bullet points in order to better communicate your skills to employers.
The vast majority of employers want to see some sort of practical experience on a student’s resume before making a full time hire. Being able to market this important practical experience to future employers will be key in gaining full time employment. Please make an appointment with any UCS counselor to assist in the evaluation of your internship.