How to Properly Thank Summer Interns

Send off your summer interns in style and leave a lasting (positive) impression

As the summer internship season comes to an end, it’s essential to express your gratitude for a job well done. Expressing gratitude to summer interns for their hard work and contributions is not only a sign of appreciation but is crucial to leave a positive and lasting impression.

Tangible gestures, incentives and tokens of appreciation are always welcomed and appropriate as the internship season winds down.

Summer intern celebration

Let’s hope all your interns have met with your approval!

Consider these steps to express your appreciation to interns for their exceptional work, contributions and for a job well done.

technology gifts
General Shopping gift cards

Incentives and rewards

Gift cards

Provide interns with gift cards to popular online marketplaces, retail stores, or restaurants, allowing them to choose items or experiences they personally enjoy.

Professional merchandise

Provide “intern-choice” gifts of business-related items or technology that can help the intern advance their academic or professional roles. Items might be desk items like lamps or desk pads or computer related gear including chargers, keyboards, and the like.

Company swag

Give the intern bragging rights with company-branded merchandise, such as t-shirts, water bottles, notebooks, or other items, as a memento of their time with the organization.

letter of recommendation

Professional recommendations

Personalized thank you letters

Arrange for reporting managers to write individual thank-you notes expressing gratitude with specific information about specific duties and contributions.


Present interns with certificates of successful completion that recognize their achievements and serve as a displayable memento of their internship experience.


If appropriate, offer to provide letters of recommendation that may be used to support their future academic or employment pursuits.

team celebrating intern

End-of-internship celebrations

Team celebration

Publicly acknowledge the intern in front of teammates and thank interns for their efforts and success. Provide a certificate or other memento to memorialize their internship.

Team lunch

Organize a team lunch or farewell gathering to thank interns collectively and give them a chance to bond and say goodbye. Invite colleagues if appropriate.

Employer talking with an intern about their future.

Long-term communication

Professional communication

Offer to stay in touch with interns on an occasional basis and offer advice and council if appropriate.

Networking Opportunities

Again, if appropriate, offer to connect successful interns with professionals in their field or connect them with potential mentors, helping them expand their professional network.

Future employment

As always, make a special effort to stay in close contact with interns who are candidates to become long-term hires if their performance and potential fit are worthy.


By taking the time to thank your summer interns and providing them with thoughtful incentives and rewards, you leave a positive impression and build a strong relationship with them.

Remember to be genuine and specific in your appreciation. Thoughtful gestures will strengthen relationships and foster a positive internship experience. Being genuine and specific in your appreciation reinforces the interns’ value and contributions. By thanking them for their hard work, you create a positive workplace culture and potential for future collaborations or referrals.

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