Congratulations! You completed your summer internship working in an industry you selected as a potential career path. You now have experience in a field that you can speak about during interviews. Now what?
The experience you gained this summer is too important to dismiss. So, I don’t want you to simply check the internship box and move on…Too frequently, we rush to complete a task without giving it much thought. It is easy to return to school and forget about your internship experience. You will miss a vital step in the learning process of your experience – Reflection. What do I mean by reflection? Reflection is making time to ask questions about the experience and discovering how you will move forward as a result. I recommend you review your goals, scan your journal for projects and tasks completed, reflect on the people you met, and areas of strength and improvement. This review will help you develop yourself as well as capture stories you can use for future internship and job interviews.
Schedule time now before temptation surrounds you to put it off for another day. Reflection will not be a priority once you set foot on campus. To help guide the reflection process, use the following questions:
1) As a result of this internship, I learned the following about myself:
2) What is the most important thing I learned about myself?
3) What did I like and/or not like about the internship? Therefore, I’m going to…
4) What are 2-3 things I consider my strengths? How am I going to further develop my strengths?
5) What skills did I develop? How can I apply these skills to academic coursework, extracurricular activities, future internships and post-grad life?
6) What new skills, knowledge, and abilities did you learn? How can I apply these new skills, knowledge, and abilities to academic coursework, extracurricular activities, future internships and post-grad life?
7) What is an area of improvement? How do I plan to develop this area?
8) What are 2-3 things am I interested in learning more about in the industry? How am I going to seek this information?
Get started by printing or downloading the internship reflection worksheet. Upon completion of the reflection exercise, you may need to adjust your internship and job search and career goals based on the information gathered about yourself and the experience. For additional information on reflecting on your internship, visit the career development website. If you need help, schedule a meeting with a career counselor to discuss how to apply your new knowledge in your career search.
Visit the Professional Confessional next week for a video on how to develop and tell your story to market your skills in internship and job interviews.