I always find it difficult to transition back to school from the working world. For those of you who did intern this past summer, I hope you had a great experience, made some amazing connections and added more substance to your resume.
But all that work should not be forgotten just because you are back in school. It is important to find ways to stay in touch with your coworkers, especially if you are planning to use them as a reference or if you hope they bring you on after graduation. You might be wondering, how should I keep in touch after completing my internship? Some of you might have interned on campus, while others across the country. No matter the location, these tips will help you stay connected once back at school.
1. Set Google Alerts
This keeps you up to speed with company news. By setting Google Alerts, you are able to receive email notifications once per week, day, or as-it-happens regarding news and mentions of the company you interned for. This way, when the company breaks positive news, you will be able to send a congratulatory email to your former manager. They see that you are still interested in the company and it is a great conversation starter.
2. Send Updates
After an interview or internship, my best advice is to send a hand-written thank-you note to your former manager and coworkers. Since we live in a world of digital communication, a handwritten note goes a long way. The handwritten note is friendly, personal, inexpensive, and appreciative. Always send a hand-written thank-you note after your internship and include your contact information. The note is bound to sit on their desk and you will stay in mind for several weeks.
3. Continue Working Remotely
If you truly enjoyed where you worked, you can reach out in a professional follow-up email offering your assistance virtually during the school year. If there are specific projects that you can work on, name them. This shows your dedication and interest. Once the company begins working with you remotely, it will be so much easier for them to bring you on after you graduate.
4. Utilize a Mentor
We all know a mentor when we find one… someone who offers advice on both career and personal levels. These mentors are all around us, and you might have even found one at your internship. Use them. Send them industry questions, ask them to review your updated resume, seek advice about scheduling beneficial classes, ask for interview tips and more! These are all ways to follow up with someone who you consider a mentor.
5. Friends on Facebook
I usually follow the rule of thumb not to request coworkers that are ranked higher than me, especially managers, on Facebook. This has been a rule during my time as an RA and as an intern. That being said, I will always accept a request from a higher-ranking coworker or a manager should they send one my way. This is a way to stay in contact on a more personal level. By being friends, you can see each other’s photos and stay in the loop about big news. I’ve been lucky enough to have managers who invited me to be friends on Facebook and it’s been a great way to keep in touch. It also reminds you to continue using Facebook responsibly… a reminder we all need from time-to-time.
With these tips in action, you will be able to stay in the minds of former coworkers. The connections you have made and the work you have done should not be forgotten, so make an effort to keep in touch.
Tyler is a senior at Ohio University, and the director of Business Development for 1804 Communication. He is a student at the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism and is studying strategic communication with a specialization in marketing. Tyler has had two internships, one at Fresh Mark and one at Cunard Line in PR and marketing. He is always eager to talk more about his blogs and experience, and can be reached by email email@example.com or LinkedIn.