Good-byes & the Life Cycle of an Internship

Hey guys, sorry I haven’t posted in a while. As usual school is crazy, work makes me a morning zombie, and there’s other activities squished in between. I actually was able to relax last night because it was my dearest friend’s 21st birthday party. Now I am currently trying to study for my first final next week on Monday, the formidable opponent: DEVELOPMENTAL BIOLOGY. I’m also a little sick and a little weepy so excuse me as I continue on my rant.


Saying Good-bye

I’d like to write a post on leaving a job. For me, it’s the hardest part of have a job. I have been really lucky (and a very avid searcher) and have had very MANY jobs and activities. I have had a few experiences that were not awful, but not fantastic, however, overall every job I had has never been bad.

I’ve met a lot of wonderful people as coworkers and supervisors, and it’s always so hard for me to say good bye. This is funny because I signed up for 3 coops, so I have to do this at least every 6 months. It’s really torture. I don’t usually easily become close to people I meet, but when I do I get really depressed.

My Standard Protocol for Leaving Etiquette:

  1. Advance notification (with a concrete date) via email or meeting
  2. Formal resignation letter
  3. Thank you card
  4. Small gift (usually homemade or food if I really liked the job)

I think it’s also good to point out that it’s also important to not only say bye to your own team of people you work with daily on tasks, but also the people who make your life easier at work. Like you may not see your admin and IT tech every day, but when you need them, they are probably very quick to respond.

This week I said good-bye to a 3 month observance opportunity at a hospital and to a 9 month internship at a biopharm company. I’ll write a separate post on each to talk about how those went for me, but in a nutshell they were both amazing. When I left each place and had to surrender each of my badges, I got very sad. Surprisingly so did they.  The same thing happened when I left the city water lab. Lots of sad faces, sometimes teary eyes, hugs, and handshakes. I guess I really underestimated not only how much of an impact they have had on me, but also the impact that I have had on them.

Life Cycle of an Internship

The easiest way to explain this weird feeling of being an intern is kind of like the Miyazaki movie “Spirited Away.”

At first, you are kind of scared and feel alone because you are in a new place with unfamilar people.

Then, eventually someone shows you around and you assigned a task or role. You may feel bad you are taking time away from them and their busy schedule, and may even feel intimidated to ask questions or for help.

You do your job, and do it well. Eventually your personality shines through and you’ve become a memorable character. People can’t help but notice you and say hi.

You take on challenging tasks and your hard work doesn’t go unnoticed and people recognize your achievements.

But eventually, the internship ends, and you have to go back to your world of school. And by this point people realize they will start missing you. This is where the sad comes in. You say your farewells and hope it’s not the last time you see everyone, but good-byes are inevitable. You try not to look back because the only way to move forward is to move on. And yet you realize what a big impact is made on both parties.

While being at your internship may have been great like me, you need to keep your eyes open for other opportunities as well. Be grateful for the contacts for future references (and make sure to express you gratitude), but do not limit yourself to the first job you like. You never know what really works for you until you put yourself out there. While my job has ended in two places this week, I am already on my way to interviews for a new internship in the spring and application to volunteer at a Paleo lab at school for next term. It’s important to remember the exciting things the future holds and continues to open up for you with each experience you have.


6 comments on “Good-byes & the Life Cycle of an Internship

  1. I love everything about this post. The Spirited Away mirroring is so perfect. It really is how every job/new stage of life starts out! Favorite picture is still Chu!! 🙂 ❤

  2. improperintegirl says:

    I love the relation to Spirited Away.. and I love your protocol for leaving work.. when I quit working at the movies I told them a few weeks in advance. I didn’t do any of the other things you did, but probably would have if I was working in an office or school environment. Which reminds me that I need to write a thank-you to the school I student-taught at this semester. I’d also like to make them cupcakes but that’s 66 students + extra for teachers… I might end up going with cookies instead XD

    • Thanks! Yea it’s a little different for each job. When I left CVS I just told them a few weeks in advance, and verbally expressed my good-byes and thank yous. I totally agree that you should make something for your students & their teaches! I know you are swamped with work, so cookies may be faster to make, but still definitely make them happy 🙂

  3. Great post. I am facing a couple of these problems.

  4. […] say I held an engineering job. I loved my GSK experience at BPT, whicch had inspired my blog about the life cycle of an internship ! I strongly recommend those in biology, biomed engineering, or pre-med to consider an internship […]

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