Undergraduate Blog / Career Development

Thank you cards and gifts

The last days of summer internships are coming and with them you have to prepare for the big closing. Just like wrapping up conversations and final projects, you want to leave your internship and supervisors with a bang!

Reflection. First and foremost, reflect about your internship. Write down the things that you learned, that you loved to do, what not to do for next year and what would you change. Reflecting on your summer experience before the last meeting with supervisors and connections allows you to bring more value into the last conversation, maybe fit in questions or last minute points.

Thank you Cards. Hand written cards although cliché are the best details that you can add to a goodbye. With your mental list of the people that made an impact in your summer experience go to pick out thank you cards. Nowadays you can find elaborate cards that range from $5-$10, which may seem expensive but if they get a reaction from the receptor then it is worth it. Buy cards specific to each person, choose designs or quotes that talk to your experience and that individual’s personalities. By showing an individual that you have gotten to know somewhat the kind of people they are, it establishes an immediate connection, more likely to be remembered. It is also better to not choose the same card for everyone because it makes the detail seem less thoughtful and you never know people will discuss your gift.

Messages.  Just like cover letters, messages in cards need to be crafted to the individual. Try to avoid overused expressions and format the cards context to your experiences with that person and the reasoning behind why you wanted to give them a card and why they made an impact in your life.

Gifts. With gifts price does not correlate with quality of a gift. Personally, I think it is best to spend money on small item which people can remember you by. For instance, I gave my supervisors Guatemalan worry dolls (small dolls dressed with traditional clothing that take away your worries) because I worked on a Guatemalan project and I am from Guatemala. If you can’t find something so personalized, personalize the gift based on what you know of your supervisor. For example, my roommate’s supervisor was going to move apartments so she bought her a house warming gift as opposed to a bottle of wine or chocolates.

Do not stress to much about the details of the cards and the gifts, in the end it is the thought that counts. Showcase through your gifts the feelings of gratitude that you have towards that summer opportunity.