Your internship is winding down and you’re beginning to wrap up projects and finalize the details. You’ve had the privilege of learning the ins and outs of your industry and as you prepare to say goodbye, determining the perfect way to show your gratitude for your boss can be tricky. Have no fear: we’ve compiled three gestures that are sure to leave a lasting impact.
1. A handwritten thank you card
While a thank you card might seem like a no brainer, taking the time to write out a paragraph or two thanking your boss for his or her time and experience can go a long way. The art of putting pen to paper has disappeared, so stand out amongst your fellow peers and put a little effort into saying goodbye, and elaborate on what you learned and took away from your time at the internship. Even include a specific example of something your internship boss taught you. Taking a simple gesture and making it personal is so important.
2. A small gift that relates to your experience
Gifts are always nice, but one that is personable and thoughtful always stands out. A gift card to a particular coffee shop or bookstore that your boss frequents is a nice gesture. Or something small like a candle, a desktop organizer, a planner, a business card holder, nice candy or a desk sign, is appropriate and thoughtful. Rachna Shah, a freshman at Dartmouth, suggets, “Something small and homemade, such as baked goods or something more related to the industry your internship is in, is a great idea.” You don’t have to overthink the gift, but ensure it’s personal and give it your own personal touch.
3. Stay in touch
While gifts and thank you notes are always welcomed, remaining in touch with your boss after your internship has ended can be supremely beneficial to your future career aspirations. Mara Hyman, a marketing professional at WBZ CBS Boston, says, “The best way to thank your internship boss is to stay in touch with them the following semester or year via email and let them know about your future accomplishments, jobs or internships you've landed as a result of your time there.” In doing so, you’re maintaining a professional relationship. Hyman adds, “By staying in touch it will keep you top of mind for any future job openings with the company because you've left things on a positive note!” Maintaining professional relationships is the key to a successful career, so ensure you’re keeping in touch with those who have helped you.
Gifts you should avoid
Keep in mind that you want your relationship with your internship boss to end on a high note, so ensure that the parting gift you give, reflects that. A gift that could be perceived as romantic or intimate should be avoided, while a gift that is outrageously expensive, could be perceived as too much. Melissa Solomon, a senior service delivery coordinator at Plannernet suggest, “Any gift you give to a fellow professional colleague should stay under $25. Exceeding this limit is too much.” If you’re unsure about the gift giving rules, check with your companies HR department, or ask someone with a similar position as your internship boss their thoughts on what an appropriate limit is.
Above all else, keep in mind who your boss is when crafting the perfect farewell gift, and remember a proper thank you never goes out of style.