Hacker Career Advice

Last Meeting of the Summer

No matter where I interned during college, every summer ended the same way. A week before my last day, the boss would call me into his office or take me out to lunch. And every time, they’d ask me the same questions:

“So, you’re headed back to school eh?”

“What classes are you taking next semester?”

“Did you like your internship?”

“What did you learn?”

Not knowing any better, I took the questions at face value and small talked my way through ‘em. Big mistake.

These “exit interviews” aren’t for your boss’ benefit. They are for yours. It’s your opportunity to control the conversation and use it to your advantage.

After 9–10 weeks, you should know if you want to intern at this company again or come back fulltime. If you do, pipe up and say so!

If you don’t, ask your boss about other industries, roles, or companies you could explore. Maybe she knows someone and can make a few calls. Ask for a letter of recommendation or if she will be a reference in the future.

Did you have a really terrible time? Did all your ideas get turned down? Use this time to provide honest, but constructive feedback.

Was there something you wanted to do but didn’t have the time or resources? Bring it up and see if you can keep contributing remotely.

For the fulltimers / recent hires, exit interviews are extremely common at big companies. Whether you leave voluntarily or not, you’ll probably have an opportunity to provide feedback & make an ask before you go. Take advantage of it.