My stint with European Network of Cultural Centres was not my first time at an internship and, thus, not my first time leaving one. Though it may sound like a simple task to depart from an internship– just stop showing up!– there are certain things you can do to make sure you stick in the mind of your boss and coworkers. It also is helpful if, like me, you’ve grown particularly close to your office mates and want to maintain those relationships after you’ve left.
The age old Facebook friend request goes a long way! My coworkers all have professional social media pages, necessary due to the fact that so much of the promotion for our advocacy work occurs online, so I made sure to ask for their personal Facebook pages so that we could stay connected while I’m back in Philly.
If you have a LinkedIn, make sure to connect with them on there as well! Thanks to Co-Op and the EPA program, I now have a lot of connections that I’ve gathered through my various internships that I know I’ll be happy I maintained in the future.
A Small Gift
I always like to give my boss, at the very least, a small gift of gratitude and a nice handwritten card. If I have a lot of coworkers, maybe I’ll bring in some cookies on my last day. ENCC is a very small office (without me, there’s only four people!) so I got each of them a small notebook with an inspirational quote on it and wrote them a thank you card. It wasn’t a glamorous or expensive gift but I feel like it conveyed that I appreciated my time there.
My friends and I lucked out in that our bosses footed the bill for a goodbye lunch or dinner, but even if they don’t, it may be a nice way to cap off the end of a good internship with a casual meal together. It gives you an opportunity to reminisce but also have a laidback conversation and let your coworkers know about your next move after you’re gone or casually request a recommendation letter.
A Clean Desk
Not as fun as some of the other ones but it would definitely kill the good vibes you sent out from the other activities if everyone returns the next week to find your desk still covered in clutter and your computer full of old files. Make a clean exit and get rid of all the mess before you leave the office!
I really loved my time with ENCC. They were the nicest, most welcoming internship I’ve had so far and I learned a lot with them. I was able to work in a multilingual office and contribute directly to the European Commission’s goal of a Europe united through arts and cultural heritage. I’ll miss every single one of them but I know that I will maintain these relationships for years to come.