Student move-in begins tomorrow, the Big House will be packed this Saturday, and if you’re anything like me, you have no idea where the summer went! Life is about to get crazy again in about a week, and before it does, I have one question for you: how was your internship?
It’s something you’ve probably heard quite a few times lately if you were able to get some experience over this summer. You might be sick of answering the question, and be tempted to answer with a simple “good” or “bad.” But not only is that a pretty boring answer, it’s also not that helpful to you. Being able to answer that question with more depth can help you better understand yourself, your passions and interests, and your ideal work environment. It can help you get a better idea of what to look for (and not to look for!) next time you’re searching for a job or internship.
So when I ask “how was your experience this summer?,” what I really mean is this:
- Does the day-to-day work match up with what you thought you’d be doing? Even if you were stuck with some of the more menial tasks, were your full-time co-workers doing things that you find interesting?
- What was your favorite project or task that you worked on? What about it did you enjoy?
Tip: Consider updating your resume with these projects and tasks right now, while they’re fresh in your mind
- On the flip-side, what was your least-favorite project or task, and why? Is it something that will be part of your day-to-day life as a professional in this field?
- How well did you get along with your boss? Did his/her management style work for you? Consider things like:
- How well were her expectations communicated?
- How much time did he spend ‘looking over your shoulder’ vs. allowing you to work independently?
- How much feedback did you receive on your work, and how often was it provided?
- What questions could you ask in the next interview that would better help you understand the day to day responsibilities and what is expected of you?
You likely gained quite a few skills this summer, and earned a nice addition to your resume. But ideally, you also learned a lot about yourself, and have a better understanding of your reasons for (or against) following this career path. Use that knowledge this year to make more informed decisions during your next job/internship search, allowing you to select something that is an even better fit for you. As always, you can schedule an in-person appointment to talk about these topics with a career coach here at The Career Center. Welcome back to Ann Arbor — we hope to see you soon!