Thank You Gift For Your Internship Supervisor – Dos and Don’ts

Thank you Gift For Your Internship Supervisor - Dos and Donts - Career Acme


If your internship is coming to an end, you might be thinking of buying a thank you gift for your internship supervisor.


Finding an unforgettable gift to impress and please your supervisor can be challenging. So here are 7 dos and don’ts to help you choose the perfect thank you gift for your internship supervisor without overspending.

Although it’s not mandatory, many interns tend to bring gifts on their last day to express their gratitude, especially if they had a positive experience. If your internship supervisor or mentor went beyond their responsibilities to mentor you and provide you with invaluable career advice then you probably want to show your appreciation in a tangible way.

A meaningful thank you gift for your internship supervisor can be a great way to acknowledge their support and make them and the rest of the team feel valued. Moreover, a genuine gesture of gratitude will help you make a lasting impression and leave your internship on the best possible terms. This can be the first step to keeping in touch with your supervisor or mentor and developing a strong professional network.


Thank You Gift For Your Internship Supervisor – Dos and Don’ts


Do pay attention and be thoughtful


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If your internship supervisor has worked with many interns in the past, chances are that they have received their fair share of gifts. Since most interns tend to opt for the safe choice, they end up with gifts as generic and impersonal as a gift card or a “best boss ever” mug.

This is your opportunity to stand out by choosing a unique thank you gift for your internship supervisor. Pay attention to everything they are saying, not just work related advice but also casual conversations to find out more about them and their interests. Think about what would best reflect their personality. If you take the extra time to search for a thoughtful gift they will not only feel appreciated but will connect with you on a personal level.


Do buy a personal gift instead of a generic one


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By the end of your internship, you’ve surely spent enough time with your mentor to get to know their personal side apart from the professional. Even if you haven’t become best friends, through some informal chats you probably can tell what they like and dislike and what are their interests outside of work. Use your knowledge to buy a personal thank you gift for your internship supervisor instead of a generic one.

Whether it’s their coffee or chocolate addiction that defines them or a hobby they are passionate about, a gift that proves that you’ve paid attention will be greatly appreciated. Even better, try to find a gift that will be a reminder of an experience you shared during your internship or a common interest that you both enjoy like reading or fishing.


Don’t buy something inappropriate


Finding an unforgettable gift for someone you know in a professional capacity is definitely challenging but, it’s also crucial to avoid anything inappropriate that might lead to any misunderstanding of your good intentions.

Stay away from anything too personal like clothing, avoid buying something with a political or religious overtone and don’t risk giving them a humorous gift if you are not sure if they share your sense of humour. Most importantly refrain from buying anything that might embarrass or offend your internship supervisor in front of the entire team.

Remember that the gift you select should reflect your relationship with your mentor. The goal is to make them feel special and show your gratitude for the time they’ve put into mentoring you, not overstep any boundaries that will damage your relationship with them.


Don’t spend too much money to impress


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Deciding on the amount of money you should spend to buy a meaningful thank you gift for your internship supervisor is one of the trickiest parts of the gift giving process. You don’t want to overspend and look like you are trying too hard but you also don’t want to spend too little and come across as stingy.

Act as if you were buying a gift for a friend or a member of your family and keep your budget to a reasonable level. It’s not the price of the gift that will make the difference but the time and effort you’ve put into selecting it to please your internship supervisor. Also if you are in doubt, there is nothing wrong with asking another member of the team whom you trust for advice. Remember there are plenty of options and ways to find a thoughtful thank you gift for your internship supervisor without going over your budget.


Don’t forget to read the organisation’s gift giving policy


Not all companies have specific rules for gift giving occasions but it’s vital to read the employees’ manual or check with the HR department before spending any money. Certain organisations might discourage managers from accepting gifts from interns as it might be seen as a form of bribery. Other companies have limits in terms of the amount of money that an appropriate gift should cost and therefore might prevent their employees from accepting expensive gifts.

Even if there are not formal guidelines, make sure that you are aware of any gifting traditions and most importantly choose your gift based on the organisation’s culture. For a more conservative and formal work environment you should stick to the rules and avoid controversial gifts. If on the other hand you work in a more creative and relaxed office environment, you could try to impress your internship supervisor with something more out of the ordinary.


Do accompany your gift with a handwritten end of internship thank you note 


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Many interns underestimate the power of a well written thank you note, but it will give you the opportunity to show your gratitude and mention specific examples that made your internship a great one. Do take the time to craft a thoughtful note and express your willingness to keep in touch with your internship supervisor after your internship ends.


Do consider buying a group thank you gift for your internship supervisor


Although an impressive gift coming directly from you is going to set you apart from other interns, sometimes communicating with your fellow interns and buying a group gift could be a great alternative. Together you should be able to buy a more expensive gift to pleasantly surprise your supervisor.

Moreover if you are struggling to find the right gift or feel that you don’t know your internship supervisor well enough to find the perfect gift, discussing your gift ideas with others and making a decision as a team is going to help you feel more comfortable with the gift you’ve all chosen.


Here are some practical advice to help you find the perfect thank you gift for your internship supervisor.


Take a look at your supervisor’s desk


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Taking a look at your mentor’s office will help you learn a lot about who they are. Do they have an organised desk? Have they decorated their desk with photos of their family or sports memorabilia? Do they already have a “best boss ever” mug?

While some people are actively looking for their next office gadget, others might prefer a simple daily planner that will help them be more productive. Understanding their style will help you find the ideal gift.

Has your supervisor helped you to successfully complete a difficult task? A gift inspired by this shared experience could be a great way to thank them and remind them of this moment. To personalise your gift try to think of an inside joke or quote that your mentor uses often. A gift that has a special meaning is definitely going to prove that you’ve put some thought into choosing something that shows your gratitude.

Here are some suggestions.

  • A moleskin journal or a notebook even a waterproof one if they get their best ideas while showering
  • A personalised card holder with a special message
  • An engraved pen or other type of office supply that your supervisor uses (looks professional with a personal touch)
  • A piece of art to decorate their office if they are art lovers
  • A personalised mug with a quote your mentor loves or an inside joke that will make them laugh
  • A small plant if they enjoy gardening
  • An office gadget like a mug warmer or a self-stirring mug
  • An adult colouring book to help them de-stress
  • A travel version of their favourite game if they travel a lot
  • An office toy like Lego can be an imaginative gift if you work in a creative environment


Choose a gift based on your mentor’s interests


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By the end of your internship you have probably developed a close relationship with your mentor or close enough to know what they enjoy doing outside the workplace. So whether your internship supervisor is a passionate sports fan, a music lover or a pet owner, there is definitely a gift that they will love.

Most importantly try to think of shared interests that can inspire you to buy a unique thank you gift for your internship supervisor. If a cup of hot tea is something that you both enjoy, choosing a collection of organic tea might impress them. If your mentor’s hobby is photography and you are also an amateur photographer, then you are perfectly qualified to buy a great gift based on your knowledge. If your supervisor gave you an opportunity to lead a project or arranged for you to attend a conference then consider giving them a gift that will remind them of that moment to thank them.

Here are some ideas that could make great gifts.

  • A special blend of coffee or tea
  • Sports memorabilia
  • An accessory for their camera if your mentor enjoys photography
  • Gardening tools if they enjoy gardening
  • A toy for their pet
  • An infused water bottle to support their healthy lifestyle
  • A book written by their favourite author(even better if you know of a book that could help them advance their career, for example the latest digital trends if you work as a marketing professional)
  • A donation in their name (if your mentor feels passionate about a cause and supports a not for profit organisation they will probably feel very thankful that you’ve made a donation in their name)

A thank you gift that can be shared with the rest of the team


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Gift baskets are among the most popular options for professional gift giving occasions, everyone will enjoy a cupcake, a glass of wine or chocolate biscuits. Whether you choose to bake them yourself or want to buy a readymade gift basket, it’s always important to consider your mentor’s food preferences and even dietary restrictions. If you know that your supervisor and most members of your team love muffins then that might be the ideal gift, however do try to include a few alternatives for colleagues who might not enjoy them or might be allergic to one of the ingredients.

Here are a few of the most popular options.

  • A box of chocolates
  • A cake with a special message
  • Handmade biscuits
  • Pastries
  • Wine or champagne
  • Gift baskets with a selection of sweet treats or cheese and crackers
  • Handmade gift baskets with a selection of candy, chocolate and tea and a heartwarming thank you note


What do you think makes a great thank you gift for your internship supervisor or mentor? Leave a comment to let us know what you think.



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