Undergraduate Blog / Career Development

Building Your Internship Story

We all strive and push for internships, work experience, and a chance to be in a professional environment. The internship experience allows for a supplemental story to tell about yourself. It can answer what you accomplished, what you learned, what impact did you have, and what are your key takeaways? Answers to these questions are critical when explaining your internship story during future interviews. Many times this can be extremely difficult given the 1000s of assignments and tasks completed during your summer. Narrowing down your story to a 90-second pitch can seem impossible. I was faced with this challenge early on in my internship and have been able to develop a strategy to help build my overall story and find a theme to my experience.

Note taking and reflection have become an essential element to constructing my story. All it takes is about 15 minutes at the end of each week. During this time, think back to the original questions: what did I accomplish, what did I learn, what impact did I have, and what are my key takeaways? The ability to summarize these answers each week leave you with 10 chapters of your story by the end of your internship. Reading back through your answers will often reveal a common theme and allow for your most impactful events to stand out, leaving a clear outline of a story to present. Challenging yourself to take this action will allow for personal and professional growth. As you move through the rest of your internship, set time aside for reflection and it will carry your story a long way.