How to Evaluate Your Internship Experience

A self-evaluation can help your future career

Young woman college student looking thoughtful in library.
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At the end of every internship (whether for credit or experience), the intern gets feedback from the employer about their performance. But should interns do self-evaluations? The answer is yes! It's incumbent upon the intern to do a self-evaluation so they are prepared to present their skills in the best possible light to future employers. When self-evaluating, ask yourself a lot of questions and put in the time necessary to come up with specific answers that align with your career aspirations.

Post-Internship Questions to Ask Yourself

After the internship, ask yourself the following:

  • Was the internship what you expected? If it wasn't, figure out why. Perhaps your supervisor gave you a lot of electronic filing and organizing to do and that's why you didn't learn as much as you wanted to. 
  • What was the best part of your internship (and why)? This is the juicy part! If the best part of your internship was researching online data, then you know that you should look for a paid position making use of your digital research skills as opposed to, say, a job in graphic design. 
  • What was the worst part of your internship (and why)? If the worst part was spending too much time in corporate meetings, then you know that a better fit for you in the future is working in an informal work environment with more freedom and less structure. 
  • Did the internship provide you with any insights that you hadn’t anticipated? If your internship was at a brick-and-mortar women's clothing store, perhaps you did not realize that working with the public can be very stressful, and while you enjoy the world of retail, you are better suited for a position behind the scenes, perhaps in a buying office.
  • How would you rate your internship on a scale from 1 to 10? Once you rate the internship you can better hone in on what activity was of interest as well as what kind of work environment you prefer. Any score below 7 means the internship was not appropriate for you and you need to figure out why. Start by writing a list of pros and cons
  • Would you recommend your internship to a friend (why or why not)? Perhaps you would not recommend your internship to a friend because your supervisor was not interested in educating and mentoring you and this is a high priority for you. Some people learn best if they work independently while others need a lot of guidance. Figure out which fits your personality.
  • What knowledge and skills did you gain and how do you plan on applying them in the future? Identify knowledge and skills you now possess that can be applied to future positions. Now that you know what kind of work environment you like best, as well as what kind of boss, it's easier to access this. Incorporate your skills into your resume and be as "specific" as possible. Your resume is one piece of paper but should identify all of your talent and (most importantly) how you can contribute to the company,