Q&A with The Intern Queen: Staying in Touch with Your Summer Internship Boss

Posted by Lauren Berger | @internqueen
Just because you’re summer internship has ended, it doesn’t mean your relationship with your boss should, too.
Staying connected to your professional network year round could be a vital instrument in landing your dream job someday. Even if you don’t wish to work full-time at the company you interned for, it’s still a great idea to keep a relationship with those supervisors. They have large networks and might know someone at a company you do want to work for come graduation. By keeping a good relationship, your past supervisors are way more likely to go out of their way to help connect you with potential employers and opportunities. If you want to maintain a relationship with your former boss, but aren’t sure how, fear not; you’re not alone! For the best possible advice on professional relationships, Valley had a Q&A with the Intern Queen, Lauren Berger. Read on for her best tips on staying connected once the summer ends:

Valley: For students who have just completed internships, how soon do you recommend reaching back out to supervisors?

Lauren Berger: I recommend they send a thank you note at the end of the internship and then stay in touch every three to four months. Ultimately, students and recent grads should be in touch with former internship supervisors three times per year (fall, spring, summer).
Valley: If the intern forgot to send a thank you note just after the internship was completed, is it still OK to do so?
LB: Yes, but don’t address the fact that it’s late. Just tell them you were thinking of them and wanted to send a note and reiterate how much you enjoyed the opportunity and position.
V: For seniors, how do you start the conversation about a possible full-time offer? Is there a timeline?
LB: It really depends on the industry – it could be as early as November or as late as a month before graduation. As a senior, you are a farmer, planting seeds and growing relationships. Your job is to let everyone know that you WILL be graduating and you WILL be looking for a job.
V: If the intern knows their supervisor’s birthday or if their supervisor was expecting during the internship, is it appropriate to send a card or a gift?
LB: YES! I love the idea of sending a card and/or putting in a phone call or email. This will earn you bonus points. You don’t need to send a gift unless it’s something small and thoughtful – those are always appreciated.
V: How can students build a strong relationship throughout the year for better chance at being re-hired as an intern or considered for a full-time position?
LB: Track your former company and supervisor to stay up-to-date on company happenings. Shoot them a note whenever you see something that reminds you of them or something you think could be valuable. Remember: relationships are a two-way street.
V: Do you have any absolute ‘no-no’s’ when it comes to keeping in touch with your former supervisor?
LB: Don’t friend them on Facebook, don’t over-email, don’t ask them to meet up more than one or two times per year and follow their lead with that. If they want to keep your relationship to just email – follow their lead. Use your best judgment.
V: What social media outlets are acceptable to add your supervisor on?
LB: Follow them on Instagram/Twitter IF their channels are public and look like they are posting a mix of personal and professional items. If the channels look too personal, I don’t recommend following them there. LinkedIn is hands-down the most appropriate.

V: Any last pieces of advice?

LB: Don’t just send a thank you note after the internship, ask for a LinkedIn recommendation!

Check out Berger’s blog at InternQueen.com where she shares any and all tips concerning internships and entering the workforce. And be sure to go hear The Intern Queen speak at Penn State, Wednesday, November 30th at 6 p.m. in 112 Forest Resources Bldg!