Summer internship: what I have learned

Now I’ve finally completed my internship after eight weeks, I thought that I’d write a short summary of things that I’ve done and learned over the summer. I feel that not only have I added some very valuable assets to my skill set, I have also become a more rounded worker as a result, and can add a whole lot more to my portfolio!

For those of you who don’t know, I’ve been interning for small company Career Camel over the summer, for whom I run their blog. It is a careers website for students, graduates and school leavers, offering jobs, internships, advice and courses. Our aim is to provide equal access to education for students regardless of their background, so all of our resources are free to students providing they just sign up.

What I did

Our main aim for my eight-week internship was to redesign parts of the website and get the entire ‘careers resources’ section, now named the ‘careers centre‘, rewritten. This involved a lot of research and discussion between us of what would suit our chosen audiences, and how they would find it useful. And I am happy to announce that one 18,000-word document later (!) I’ve rewritten the careers section which I am extremely proud of, and cannot wait to get it published online. This has certainly improved not only my knowledge of the careers sector, but the quality of my writing and, which will be extremely important to a career in journalism, writing to deadline.

Although rewriting the careers section took up the majority of my internship, I also had time to continue working on the blog, which Janet Colledge, the “Careers Defender” who is also an ambassador for National Careers Week, is recommending all teachers read before they give out advice. Great to see that the work of my writers is being appreciated so soon, and now we’ve already had nearly 150 submissions to the blog! I’ve found it incredible that so many people have written for us and care so much about careers and their futures. I am so proud of what we’ve achieved and am looking forward to seeing further developments.

Finally, I had the chance to learn a lot more about SEO, the difference between trackbacks and pingbacks, how to increase our page impressions, and so on. Along with the opportunity to improve my HTML skills, I’ve never felt more in touch with the online world, and hope I can bring these new assets to a future job.

Working from home

I’ve certainly learned a lot about myself and my own working habits by working from Bournemouth 1home. It takes a lot of self-discipline to force yourself to get up and start work at 9am everyday (even though, yes, you can work in your pajamas), as there’s no one there to tell you off for being late! However, I did learn that actually I’m pretty self-motivated in terms of getting myself working on time, as otherwise I just feel guilty – the “latest” I was to work was only by about 10 minutes or so. I also discovered that I prefer to work to a defined schedule, i.e. 9-5 every day. Although I did occasionally pop out for an hour and work extra at the end of the day or something, I would rather do that than switch my day around completely and work in the evening.

So, hours aside, I also discovered that I definitely work better in an office, with people around me. I was certainly more productive some days than others (though I suppose you’d find that in any working environment), and although I could call my boss anytime I Bournemouth 2liked or drop him an email, I got much more work done when I visited him in Bournemouth where we could actually work together properly. It helped that he lived by the beach for a quick motivational break, too (check out the gorgeous photos)! It appears that I’m much more of a communicator and kinesthetic learner than I thought I was, and that I need a certain amount of human interaction about the task to get me excited about it. Maybe that’s why I’m a journalist at heart – I always become obsessive about the stories everyone’s talking about.

Overall, I’ve definitely learned a lot from my internship which is going to hopefully boost my career, and I’ve also discovered that in the future, working from home is an option I could take if necessary – but I would never want to do it on a permanent or prolonged basis. But let’s see what the future holds, eh?

Photo: David Martyn Hunt / Flickr

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4 thoughts on “Summer internship: what I have learned

  1. Great post and I’m glad to hear you enjoyed your internship. Working from home is not only down to your own discipline but also others (friends and family) realising that you may be at home but you ARE working…….and don’t have time for that quick coffee or meet in town etc and that they can’t just drop by or call or text. Good luck with your next year’s study.

    1. Yes that’s very true! People asked if they could meet me for lunch or whatever and I said: “No, I’m working!” and at first they didn’t understand why I couldn’t just change my hours! Definitely takes a lot of discipline and communication. Thanks Sally, I hope that you’re well! 🙂

  2. Having had the pleasure of working with you for the last eight weeks, you are such an asset to Career Camel and I do not know how we got through to July without your incredible talents and inspirational work ethic.

    It is fantastic to read about the experience from your point of view and seeing the skills that you gained. I also learnt a lot which I thank you for and feel honoured that you chose us to work with over the last eight weeks.

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