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I will soon complete an 8 months internship and I would like to know how to thank my managers and coworker in a professional manner.

The situation is that the manager who hired me is a global manager and I dont work with him directly. I work with another manager, but he only makes sure we get work done. The most useful person to me is an experienced engineer.

The problem is that I dont know how to thank them professionally.

I thought about emailing them individually with a personal thank you. A bottle of wine for my direct manager. Donuts for everyone. And a global thank you letter.

Is this a good and professional idea?

closed as off-topic by gnat, Jim G., jcmeloni, user8365, Michael Grubey Jun 6 '14 at 7:57

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  • Without knowing company culture, or the direct manager(wine/donuts might not be a great gift for certain people), we can not comment on that. But the 'thank you' emails are most definitely okay. – jmorc Jun 5 '14 at 16:52
  • If I were an intern, I'd send a note to all of them saying "thank you" and "if you feel strongly enough about it to take me out to lunch, I won't fight it :)" The worst that happens is that you won't get away with it, they'll get'll get a good laugh from your attempt to get a free lunch out of them and they'll give you a good reference anyway :) Remember the SAS motto: "Those who dare win!" :) – Vietnhi Phuvan Jun 5 '14 at 17:13
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    This question appears to be off-topic because it is about regulations or agreements that are company-specific and don't have universally applicable answers. – gnat Jun 5 '14 at 17:45
  • A bottle of wine for my direct manager. What kind of wine? – Jim G. Jun 5 '14 at 18:14
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I thought about emailing them individually with a personal thank you.

I think that is the best thing to do. Perhaps meet key people in person who you had strong interactions with & play it like you hear it. Meaning, be grateful but don’t overdo it. That said you then say this:

A bottle of wine for my direct manager.

I don’t drink anymore & if I got a bottle of any booze it would seem someone was reading a copy of some managerial book from the 1970s. If you are positive you know the manager would genuinely like a bottle of wine, go for it.

Donuts for everyone.

Again, where do you assume “everyone likes doughnuts.” You are assuming some things here. Don’t buy a box of snacks unless you are sure people true want them. Otherwise you are not making a good impression.

And a global thank you letter.

This makes the most sense. Just send a global “thank you” letter to all, and specific e-mails to individuals you feel need more individual care & that’s it.

But the largest impact you make on your internship is the work you actually did. 100% nobody will evert look back on your tenure & say, “Remember that bottle of wine & doughnuts that one guy gave us?”

Just a be a human being and act professionally grateful to your colleagues. And do not overdo it based on some fantasy idea that “small gifts” will help.

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    It's a little harsh to assume that he is doing it because he wants a great reference. Maybe he just wants to genuinely thank them? – Fiona - myaccessible.website Jun 6 '14 at 12:12
  • @FionaTaylorGorringe “It's a little harsh to assume that he is doing it because he wants a great reference.” Really? Harsh? Do people do the equivalent of full-time work for little to no compensation simply to have fun? – JakeGould Jun 6 '14 at 13:53
  • I guess I mean that it sounds like the OP is just genuinely thankful but who knows! – Fiona - myaccessible.website Jun 6 '14 at 13:55
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Not sure about bottle of wine. Personally I would not do it.

Much better IMHO would be to invite your direct manager for the lunch (establishment of his choice) to thank him. Your goal is to build a relationships, start building your professional network. Tell him about your future plans, ask for advice, pick his brain. People like to talk about their experience and appreciate when someone values it.

Suggest linking via LinkedIn. Same for experienced engineer, separately or together.

And if your budget allows it, why not to invite bigger group of your colleagues for farewell lunch? Or just ask them to go for lunch on your last day, even if everyone pays for himself. With bigger group, it will be harder to get advice, but you want these people remember you.

The least is to send group-wide email thanking everyone, and providing your contact info if someone wants to keep in touch. Make your personality to show that email, if you can.

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This is subjective and there probably isn't any right answer. What I would do is thank all my co-workers personally before I leave. If you're particularly grateful to certain people (e.g. your manager) then speak to him/her one-on-one and tell him how important he was for your career (or whatever). I prefer thanking people personally than via email, but again, that's just the way I feel, and you may feel different.

I wouldn't do the bottle of wine thing - in many places it is forbidden to buy gifts for any co-workers, especially your direct supervisor, among other things because it can look like corruption (even though you might have the best intentions, that might not be the way others see it).

The doughnuts are fine though... I've always bought something small to eat for all my colleagues whenever I left a job. That doesn't qualify a gift (even because you don't buy it for one person, but for everyone)... it's just marking an occasion (in this case a farewell) with a sweet taste.

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