Internship Reflection Questions
Slightly adapted from “Weekly Internship Journal Blog Prompts” by the Chicago Programs
Many of your faculty supervisors will have you keep journals though out your internship experience. The following is a list of questions you might want to use to prompt you to reflect on some key areas. Reflections are to be… well, reflective! Please do not rush through your journal entries, as part of what makes this process successful is for you to give careful thought and reflection to your experience.
Office Politics: What have you experienced with respect to the written or unwritten rules regarding protocol, hierarchy, and/or communication at your internship site?
Space Design & Layout: How does the physical space (aesthetics, layout, decorations, furniture, cubicles/doors/windows, etc.) impact the day-to-day operation?
Dress: How do different people at your site or involved with your site (i.e., clients/customers, etc.) dress and what deeper conclusions can you draw from this? Does this impact personal interactions? In what ways?
Diversity: How have you observed/experienced individuals from different demographic groups (male/female, different ages, sexual orientation, race, etc.) interacting with each other?
Social Conscience: How well do you believe your site is demonstrating a strong commitment to improve the world (i.e., environment, community, education, youth, etc.)? Explain.
Funding: What different sources of funding does the organization utilize to maintain operations? (Tip – you may need to interview someone for this answer). In your opinion, are there ample resources to fund future projects and is there a plan to secure these funds?
Location: How does the location of your internship site (e.g., neighborhood, surrounding businesses, access to food, etc.) impact its operation?
Community: Does the organization seem to be an active member of the community (however this is defined)? If so, how? If not, should it be and how could this be accomplished?
Events: How do the events either supported or put on directly by your internship site relate to the purpose of the organization?
Sector: Depending on the sector (for-profit, non-profit, or governmental) your internship is in, how does the structure impact the ability of the organization to accomplish its goals? (Consider layers of management, board of directors, volunteers, etc.) Explain.
Size: How many individuals do you work with either directly of indirectly at your internship site? How do you believe the size of the organization relates to their ability to succeed?
Mission: Compare and contrast the mission statement of the organization with what you observe in the day-to-day operations. Do they actually accomplish their mission?
Culture/Collegiality: How would you describe the culture within your organization (ways in which co-workers interact or don’t interact) and how does this fit with your “ideal” employer?
Building your Network: How have you or others in this organization effectively utilized relationship building/networking? In what ways can you build a strong network with those you work with for future benefit?
Collaboration: Describe the way in which the organization collaborates with other groups in the area.
Mentoring: In what ways have you experienced or witnessed either informal or formal mentoring taking place within the organization?
Time: How structured/guided is your time? How effective/ineffective does that make you?
Career Path: If you wanted to follow in the career path of someone at your internship site, what would you need to do to make this happen? (Tip – ask the person for advice and use this in your response.)
Workload: How does the organization distribute the level of work among the staff? How equitable do you believe the distribution is?
Tasks: What types of tasks are you discovering that you enjoy or excel at completing? Which ones are less attractive or fulfilling?
Looking Back: How has your experience at Hanover prepared you for your internship? How have you used your liberal arts education in your internship?
Venting: What about your internship do you absolutely despise/hate or leaves a bad taste in your mouth? (Use this opportunity to vent privately.)
CEO for a Day: If you were running this organization, what would you change and why?
Surprise: What about your internship is the most surprising to you (i.e., what did you least expect going into the experience) and what lesson(s) can you draw from this?