5 Tips for Effectively Offboarding Your Interns
By Ahva Sadeghi
Chief Executive Officer
As Fall Semester wraps up, another cycle of internship programs is also coming to a close. With the end of an internship, there are several tasks you need to complete to effectively offboard your intern(s) and ensure a positive experience. Your interns should leave your company and the internship program better off than when they started. Here is a checklist to help you have a smooth offboarding experience with your intern(s).
1. Conduct an Exit Interview
The best way to say goodbye is to have some face-to-face time to listen to your intern and formally review the internship journey from start to finish. Be sure to schedule a final interview with your intern to hear about their experiences working at your company. This is the time to get feedback and learn how you can improve your internship program for next year. You can also organize an exit interview with human resources for your intern so that they can provide the company general feedback about the internship program as well.
We highly encourage you to schedule the interview in advance to give your intern ample time to prepare and organize their thoughts to share with you. Try not to wait until the last day of the intern’s job in case other things come up. You can complement your intern’s exit interview with an online survey to make sure that you cover all grounds and give your intern a fair opportunity to be transparent about their internship. Not everybody will be comfortable sharing all their thoughts in-person.
For more advice on questions to ask your interns, check out:
- 4 Questions Every Company Needs to Ask Their Interns in an Exit Interview
- A 10-Question Exit Interview for Summer Interns
2. Write Your Recommendations
If your intern has really impressed you, consider writing a letter of recommendation and volunteering to be a reference on their resume. Oftentimes, the letter of recommendation is one of the most valuable tangible takeaways your interns receive. Your intern can use this recommendation for future employment, academic and scholarship opportunities. If your intern did a great job, make sure to reward them with a quality letter of recommendation. Here is a useful resource for how you can write a letter of recommendation for your intern: https://www.thebalancecareers.com/sample-recommendation-letter-for-a-summer-worker-2062951.
In addition to formal letters of recommendation, another great way to support your intern is writing them a LinkedIn recommendation. This is a digital recommendation that your intern will always be able to share with others and spotlight on their profile.
3. Follow Up With the University Regarding Academic Credit
It has become increasingly popular for students to participate in internships to receive academic credit towards their college graduation. In fact, some universities actually require students to participate in internships or co-ops in order to graduate with their degrees. If this is the case, be ready to roll up your sleeves and fill out some forms. Each university will have their own guidelines and paperwork. It is important to stay connected and follow up with your intern on this process to meet all necessary deadlines.
4. Ask Your Intern to Write a Letter to the Next Intern
Because interns from different programs do not often get to meet one another, one way to connect them is to ask your current intern to write a short letter to the next intern with helpful tips. This is a great way to offboard your intern and also help onboard your future intern to a similar position.
In cases where there is an ongoing project, we encourage you to help organize your intern’s work to be easily transferred to the next intern in line.
5. Keep in Touch
Lastly, as your intern finishes at your company, make sure to get all their personal contact info. Try to keep in touch with them in case of future job openings and also see the exciting things they are up to.
As a company, you spent quality time investing in your intern’s personal growth and success. It is important to say goodbye to your intern effectively and be a part of their continued success.
By Ahva Sadeghi, Chief Executive Officer