It’s June and most summer internships are well underway. It was around this time last year that I was starting my internships with two companies and very unaware of the wild ride my summer would bring! I spent part of my time exploring new parts of my home state, New Jersey, blogging about boutiques and bakeries for a lifestyle PR firm. I spent another part of my time creating and scheduling hundreds of social media posts a week for a digital magazine. What a busy, but fulfilling, summer it was!
Those experiences were glamorous, sometimes, but very overwhelming at other times. Either way, they both helped me build my resume and portfolio and played a large role in me scoring the job I have now. That is what is most important about doing internships – enhancing your skills and building your experience.
A lot of the time, colleges and universities require students to get evaluations filled out by their internship supervisors reporting on the intern’s performance. But, rarely do they ever ask how the student would rate their own internship experience!
Evaluating your internship is a very important thing to do as you ride along on your path to career success. Any job or internship you take on should always bring you one step closer to your ultimate dream career. If it’s not, then you may very well be wasting your time.
The first things to think about when evaluating your internship are the duties you perform on a daily basis. Do you feel as if you are a vital member of the team? As if you are contributing to the success of the company? Even if it’s in a simple way, like doing research or writing reports, think about the importance of your role.
Another thing to evaluate are your own skills. What knowledge that you have gained in school is helping you along in this internship? What skills have been learned or enhanced from your time there so far?
The whole point of an internship is to learn and gain valuable, real-world experience. So it is imperative to evaluate exactly what you are learning and where your strengths and weaknesses lie within your desired field. Doing this will better prepare you for when you are ready to take on a full-time position post-graduation.
So you have spent some time thinking about yourself and your performance. Now, let’s evaluate the actual internship. What are some actions that you can take to improve your experience? You should always have a say in the work that you do! If there is something you want to try or learn more about, see if you can do just that.
Or maybe it’s a change of mindset that you need. Some internships can be a let-down when it comes to the quality of work that you are assigned. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t any value in the internship! Think about your overall experience and what you’re getting out of it. This may spark some much-needed optimism and enthusiasm.
Finally, the most important part of your internship evaluation: can you see yourself working in this field?! Internships are like the free trial before purchase. They let you try the job out to see if doing this for a living would be worth your while. Can you see yourself enjoying a job like this? Can you see yourself excelling and reaching your goals and dreams? Hopefully you can!
But, if you’ve come out of this evaluation not thinking so positively – that’s okay! Like I said, internships give you the opportunity to see what kind of job will work for you. If you conclude that your internship has not provided you with anything of value, reevaluate your search process. Adjust what you are looking for and try again next semester if you can. There is nothing wrong with saying that you didn’t like your experience! Everything will not always work out – it’s just a matter of what you are going to do about it.
Now I know I asked you a lot of questions which require some heavy thinking. That is why I created a free downloadable worksheet with all of the questions I mentioned and more! You can print it out and fill in your answers or download it and save it for future use. Just enter your email in the box below and you’ll be on your way 😊