This past week, I learned another one of those best practices for the professional world that I will likely be carrying with me after graduation. Less to do with my work as a web intern, this lesson is applicable in every field.
I am currently applying to a few summer internships at NASA, and amongst the busyness of mid-semester assignments and post-graduation preparation, the application slipped from my main focus. I asked my faculty supervisor and on-site facilitator for a recommendation letter, but not until two weeks before it was due—much later than I normally would ask. Laura Glander, my facilitator, had a copy of a something like a performance appraisal for me from the prior semester I had interned. With some adjustments, they were able to send in a letter for me despite the time crunch.
Dr. Wolek, my faculty supervisor, explained to me the common practice of keeping such letters saved at the end of an internship or job. These recommendations are naturally easier to write before too much time has passed and the details of a student or worker begin to fade in one’s mind. that way, if an intern e-mails his or her internship director six months after they’ve left the experience, one’s not scraping the bottom of their memory to pull out some descriptions.
I will be keeping this in mind as I move forward into my career, both for future internships I may have and for the possibility of me one day facilitating an internship.