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End of Internship Thank-You Letters -- Necessary?

katsy23katsy23 Posts: 82Registered User Junior Member
My summer internship is ending as of tomorrow. This is technically the first real internship that I've held. I'm in college, and not even as an underclassman anymore (this might be quite rare on CC).

Do I really need to write thank-you letters? I interned at a fairly small (for NYC), relatively informal company (though located in a corporate district--the Financial District, if you will). I enjoyed my internship overall. I learned a lot, especially since I came in knowing nothing about working. The pay was good. The people were nice and very helpful.

Do I really need to send thank-you letters? I dread the thought. Can I just tell my supervisor, "Thank you--I really enjoyed and learned a lot this summer. Bye!"

I just feel like sending a letter would be awkward. I don't plan on coming back, even though they would most likely let me come again next summer. I realize there's a small chance I may need some sort of recommendation in the future. However, the company doesn't really have anything to do with what I hope/intend to do, but technically the department I worked in does.

Do I really need to send a letter? I guess it would be slightly less awkward sending one once I leave. But still... Would I address it to my direct supervisor? The VP of our department? The whole department (about 6 people total, including my supervisor and the VP--I pretty much sat next to and worked with all of them every single day)? Can my letter just say, "Thank you for this opportunity--I really enjoyed learning a lot this summer. Bye!"? Do I need to go into specifics? It seems a bit cheesy to ramble on about how this summer changed my life or how I will miss it here. Do I shake people's hands when I leave?

I look very young for my age, and I don't want to give the impression that I'm trying too hard. I know they understand I how much I appreciated this opportunity letter or no letter. The saying good-bye part seems awkward in general. Advice?
Post edited by katsy23 on
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Replies to: End of Internship Thank-You Letters -- Necessary?

  • ken285ken285 Posts: 3,882Registered User Senior Member
    I never left a letter, but I always made a point of saying goodbye and talking to each person personally on my last day. I think this is best for small companies especially since you know everybody and everybody knows you. Just tell everyone in person instead of writing a letter.

    Don't think that it's awkward because interns come and go all the time. It's not like you'll be the first and last.
  • elvenqueen10elvenqueen10 Posts: 786Registered User Member
    I think you should write a note because with your luck, someone you worked with will change to another company and be hiring you. And they'll remember you if you send a nice thank you note. say thank you and cite one particular thing you enjoyed.

    And this:

    I look very young for my age, and I don't want to give the impression that I'm trying too hard. I know they understand I how much I appreciated this opportunity letter or no letter.

    that mentality makes it seem like you aren't trying hard enough.
  • LongPrimeLongPrime Posts: 5,208- Senior Member
    Nothing to lose, Everything to gain. Those who are noticed, are those who get noticed. Standout to be Standout.
  • WhatdidyouWhatdidyou Posts: 539Registered User Member
    I was wondering about this topic as well.

    If it is your last day of the internship, would it be good to send an email to the entire ___________ department (the department that you work in), corporate office (which includes many people you've never worked but some that you have), or the entire company?

    I was thinking about just sending one out to the department that I am working in and a few people I work closely with from other departments. BUT then the more people I include, the more it is possible I might slight someone who I've had contact with or helped me during my time here. (I know the chances of me actually slighting someone is slim but still).

    So I guess I am worried about three things:

    1. Wasting people's time by sending an email to them, when they don't know me or barely know me. Especially when it is wasting high level management's time; most of whom don't know me or have only seen me/said one to two things to me.

    2. Leaving people out and/or having people feel slighted that I did not include them.

    3. The general appropriatness of an intern sending out a mass email to a large, though not huge, group of people using the company's email system just to say goodbye.

    I'm not really sure. Opinions?
  • Rush10Rush10 Posts: 889Registered User Member
    Always write thank you letters.
  • workingATbig4workingATbig4 Posts: 317Registered User Member
    Thank you letters are NEVER a bad thing. I have never received a thank you letter and thought "Damn I do NOT want to read this". The best thing it does is make them think about you in a positive light at a time when you wouldn't normally be coming up in their thoughts.
  • soccerguy315soccerguy315 Posts: 6,630Registered User Senior Member
    During my spring internship, I was working on a team of 4 people (plus me), and I gave all of them thank you cards on the last day. Some of those people I worked with could have significant pull if I wanted to return to the agency when I finished graduate school. For my summer internship, I did not do thank you letters, but I did thank the people on my team, and I know that I was officially recommended to become a full-time employee after graduation. I suppose since I was recommended to become full-time, that I didn't feel it was as important to continue to impress, and because I will likely see all of those people again.

    I would advise against sending a company wide thank you email. Again, I did send email to my team of 4 from my spring internship though. I would suggest you limit it to the people you worked most with, and maybe stop by other people's cubicle on your way out.
  • sleepdeficitsleepdeficit Posts: 167Registered User Junior Member
    I hand-wrote an informal, personalized thank-you card to most of the people I worked with. It shows your appreciation. At least write an email?
  • Roger_DooleyRoger_Dooley Posts: 106,156Founder Senior Member
    Topic is still very relevant, even if the OP has moved on...

    I strongly recommend a thank-you, either written or email. Let them know how to stay in touch, even if you don't think they will. Connect on social media (LinkedIn, if not Facebook).

    Even if you don't intend to return, your next set of potential employers will almost certainly contact them for a reference. In fact, decide who there knows your work and thought you did a good job, and ask if you can use him/her as a reference. Better to ask now than scramble the next time you are rushing through a job application. (Be sure to write down the full contact info for your reference, it will save time later.)

    I can tell you that thank you notes (after an interview, after an internship, etc.) DO make an impression, simply because in an era of declining courtesy so many people fail to take a minute to write/send them.
  • shayonsalehshayonsaleh Posts: 369Registered User Member
    I don't know if a letter is the right word. Making a long expose on your summer can seem kind of cheesy sometimes. I did write a thank you note which basically thanked everyone relevant for a good summer. I also thanked my supervisor directly during my last week and talked about how I saw the summer as really contributing to my education and career.
  • londondadlondondad Posts: 241Registered User Junior Member
    Definitely write a (typed or hand-written) thank you letter to: 1) your direct supervisor and 2) the HR person or internship coordinator you dealt with when you were hired. Also, a brief email to your department on your last day briefly thanking them for putting up with all of your endless questions, etc. would also be appreciated. Finally, if you believe that you did a good job, ask your supervisor if you can use him/her as a reference later. Londondad.
  • BeckyTerrapinBeckyTerrapin Posts: 5Registered User New Member
    Always, always say thank you and make sure you leave them with contact info (email, phone, LinkedIn). You never know when you'll cross paths with people again or need to reach out to them in the future.
  • TimothyLTimothyL Posts: 43Registered User Junior Member
    I recently finished an internship and just mailed out my thank you letter. Why would you not send a Thank you note? You want a good reference/recommendation from them don't you?
  • honied_dreamshonied_dreams Posts: 459Registered User Member
    I don't know if I agree with the letter thing...you wouldn't write a thank you letter to a boss at a paying job (at least I've never known anyone that did, just a notice). You're the one doing them the favor by working for free.

    I agree with whoever said to speak with all of the people you worked with personally on your last day. Then you can say your thank you's, etc. Definitely do not send letters to people who barely know you and who you haven't worked with.
  • sherlockgnomessherlockgnomes Posts: 8Registered User New Member
    They are absolutely necessary. You want to make it seem like you enjoyed your time working at your internship, even though you were just used as cheap labor. You might want to try sending a fruit basket with some scented soaps, because everyone like scented soaps.
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