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Why And How To Document Your Internship

Why And How To Document Your Internship

Edited By Parisraja Bajpai | Updated on Jun 27, 2022 09:13 AM IST

An internship is an opportunity to train under professionals in your chosen career or field. Completing an internship successfully helps you and your prospective employers get more clarity as to whether you have what it takes for a particular job role.

Use internships to create future opportunities, build relationships, and take control of your future. A simple tool to ensure that your internship experience paid off is to document it.

Why Should You Document?

There are various benefits attached to documenting your internship. Let us talk about a few of them.

Report To Your Institution

If you have been asked by your school or college to intern, chances are you would be required to submit a report to them once your internship is completed. Keep a diary with you while your internship is on, where in you keep making running notes. The diary would work as a reference which would have all the data and information of your experience and help you draft your report smoothly. It will work as your working memory.

Why And How To Document Your Internship
Why And How To Document Your Internship

Scholarships Letters And College Applications

You can utilise this documentation to pull out details about your experience and accomplishments while drafting scholarship letters or when applying for higher education. The more experience you add, the more legitimate your application would become.

Also Read | Tips To Pay For Your Own College Education

Keep Track Of Goals

Detailing your experience while interning will help you keep close track of how much you are meeting the goals you had set to achieve during and through this internship. You can talk to your reporting manager in time to provide you with opportunities to experience and learn what you had initially intended to, through this internship.

Prospective Future Associates

Jotting down names, numbers, and roles during your internship would help you in your future. You may meet people who could further help to generate business or become your vendors in the future. Just writing down the names of people along with their contact details could be of great help down your career path.

Help For Reporting Managers

It becomes integral to document what you are doing-especially when working virtually, to ensure you are on top of everything and not questioned on your progress. When you are not working with your reporting managers in a physical space, it may be hard for them to see what you are working on and how much you have achieved, or where you require help. Documenting keeps your internship on track and productive.

Also Read | Nailing Your Internship Interview: FAQs And Tips To Answer

How To Document Your Internship

Now comes the crucial part, how should you document your experience in a way that is advantageous to your career? You can categorise your documentation into different segments. The essentials of good drafting of your experience would be the following.

Use A Journal Or Diary

To begin with, you will require a journal or a diary to document your experience. You may even take notes on your phone or laptop. It depends on your ease and convenience.

internship documentation, sample internship report, sample final report for internship, internship documentation sample, how to create an internship reportKeeping A Diary Is A Good Way To Document Your Internship Experience

Be Regular With Entries

Do it daily! You will have to make it a habit to make an entry every day in your diary, because doing it only sometimes will not help you give your experience the structure it needs – if you write it, you are least likely to forget it.

Write The Date And Day

Do not forget to mention the date and day at the top of each entry. Write down the names and designations of all the new people you met on that day. This would be more in the initial days or during important meetings or events. This would help you go back to them when needed.

Record All Your Tasks

Write down what you did in the day, from the smallest to the biggest tasks. This is important to do as you may not be able to carry each and every detail of your tenure as an intern by the end of the internship. Recording all your tasks will also make writing and submitting a report easier. This will also help you if you need to report your progress to your reporting manager. It’s a good feeling to actually see how far you have come.

Go Back And Reflect

At the end of each day, look at your day’s work and find out what exactly you can gauge from it. So, to summarise, you mainly have to focus on three things and pay attention to-the new ideas, the learnings, and what value you added.

New Ideas | The ideas that came through during discussions and in meetings. Your brains could pop up with new information and give us an ‘Aha’ moment that would give you material to ponder over later. Write them down as you may want to work on them later, for a project, a business, or simply a solution.

Learnings Of The Day | At the end of the day, ask yourself, “What did I learn from the tasks I undertook today?”; “Did I learn a new process or some new terminologies?”; “Did I establish some good connections?”; “Did I identify a concept that I learnt in class and saw it being applied in the office?”

What Value You Added | You should also jot down your inputs or your value add for the day, the wins, and accomplishments, your input to the tasks, and how you helped the team on a task.

You can write them in different colours or in bullet points.

What Are The Action Items?

Action items are basically what you need to work on, maybe on the next day or within the coming few dyas. These serve as reminders for you about what to do next. These follow ups could be about:

Q&A | Are there any questions that you had during the day that you would like your reporting manager to address?

Connections | Is there anybody you met during the day that you wish to connect with over LinkedIn or for a chat in the office?

Research | You could also be wanting to research a topic, a project, a new term that you learnt, name of a new company, a client for better preparation the next day.

Also Read | Preparing For The First day of internship

Learn And Have Fun

internship documentation, sample internship report, sample final report for internship, internship documentation sample, how to create an internship reportDo Your Best Work And Have Fun

Journalling and drafting your internship journey help you in keeping track of your daily tasks, your daily follow-ups, and the professional connections you make. It takes a little time to do it, but it goes a long way. It’s foremost to reflect and understand what works for you and what doesn’t, what you enjoy doing and what you don’t. You may be asked to do things that you may feel are redundant or not creating value for you. But, everything would be a learning experience, which you may realise later in different ways. Creating a structured draft of your experience would help you tremendously and make it a habit to do so in the future in the job, too. Most importantly, take lots of pictures, dress the part, do your best work, and have fun! The documentation and pictures would be a great memoir to revisit later and be grateful for the opportunity you got.

Parisraja Bajpai is an Organisational Psychologist, with extensive hand-on experience in talent acquisition, talent management, employee counselling, employee engagement, training and development. She is currently heading HR department at Nexstgo. The views represented in this article are personal and do not reflect the opinions of the Nextsgo or any affiliate organisations.


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