In the course of a professional career, an internship may have to be completed. Sometimes this is already the case during school time. The aim is to get a taste of a certain profession and to gain initial work experience. It may also be obligatory to complete an internship during a course of study. In the worst case, there are even several internships that are imposed on the students. In all cases, this is followed by the internship report – the famous self-written document in which both the internship and the activity are described and highlighted in detail. Usually an evaluation is attached to it, so that the internship report receives a grade or is rewarded with credits. Accordingly, content and structure are important. Only those who deliver a passable internship report can expect the internship to be recognized.
Since there is no generally valid law that prescribes the rules for a good internship report, the author is relatively free in what he writes. Which does not make it easier – on the contrary. Many interns are overwhelmed after the internship when it comes to writing an internship report. However, if you follow a few basic rules, you will always succeed in writing a great internship report.
Aim of the internship report
What is the aim of an internship report?? An internship is about gaining work experience in the desired industry or at the desired company. It should provide valuable insights into the daily work and thus possibly consolidate or change the career choice. Accordingly, the experience gained should be processed and reflected upon in the internship report. Was the internship as I expected it to be?? What new insights did it bring me?? Is this exactly what I would like to do in the future?? These are just some of the questions that the intern should answer for themselves while writing the internship report. In addition to reflecting on the internship, it is also a question of describing the work done. After all, those responsible for reading and evaluating the report want to see that the internship was completed properly. It must be clear which department was worked in and what tasks were part of the daily work.
The subsequent readers of the report will also be interested in the extent to which the theory and practice learned can be combined with each other. All these points must be clearly supported and are the main objective of an internship report. Although the report is officially written for others, it is basically intended primarily for the intern himself, as it should provide clarity about his own career.
An internship report is similar to a term paper: Without a reasonable structure, it will be nothing! Thus, after the cover sheet, the outline must first be written. An internship report usually comprises between 20 and 30 pages, so it is necessarily divided into several chapters.
The cover sheet should be attractively designed and contain the intern’s own name as well as the name of the company where the internship was completed. It is absolutely sensible to start the internship report with an outline. In this way, the author does not simply write in an uncoordinated manner, but already has content-related reference points along which he or she can shimmy. Ideally, notes were taken during the internship, so that a bullet point-like outline can be created on a piece of paper in no time at all. This could look like the following, for example:
– Company portrait
– Scope of duties during the internship
– Chronological weekly reports
– Personal evaluation
How to make it easier to write your internship report. The appropriate page numbers can be added later. So the outline is first of all about creating structure and avoiding multiple corrections of the individual chapters.
Length and shape
The length and form of the internship report are also crucial. Ideally, the school or university has already set guidelines that the author can follow. If it is an internship report for a mandatory internship during studies, 20 pages in length and more are nothing unusual. A report on a school internship, on the other hand, is usually limited to 10 pages in length. The font and form of writing is usually specified by the responsible persons. If there are no guidelines and the author is unsure, it does not hurt to ask the respective tutor or teacher.
Ideally, students can use the same style sheet that they use for their assignments. When reaching the page count, there is a danger of drifting into "telling" to fill the pages unnecessarily with text. Here the author should make sure that he/she prepares the content appropriately and only includes essential information, otherwise the text will appear artificial. It is also important not to illustrate the internship report with photo spreads, just to get to the required number of pages. Instead, the conclusion or the personal evaluation can be a bit more detailed. Since an internship report is primarily an experience report, it can be written in first person and in the past.
Design of the content
At the beginning of the report, after the introduction, there must be a company portrait. This contains information about the internship company. It must be clear in which business field the company is active, what has spoken in advance for it as an internship report and how long it has been on the market. This shows that you have done some research into the industry and that the internship was not simply chosen at random. Perhaps the selected company is even a potential employer and the internship was used as a chance to get a foot in the door with the employer of choice.
Then the experience gained can be presented chronologically. The best way to solve this task is to write weekly reports (or daily reports for shorter internships). Here, too, it is helpful if a notebook has been kept in advance. It should be noted that due to data protection no names may be mentioned. Instead of writing "Mr. Muller", it is better to just take the title of the person in question (z. B.: "The department manager…"). The individual processes should also be described in a value-free or. Be written neutrally, as the evaluation is done afterwards.
So were there annoying situations or was the intern treated unfairly by his internship report (z. B. mainly used for making coffee and copying), this belongs in the back chapters of the evaluation.
Conclusion at the end
No matter what you call the concluding chapters – a personal reflection or evaluation of the internship at the end of the report is mandatory. Finally, the readers of the report want to know if the internship was helpful and fulfilled its goal. However, it is much more important for the author to gain important insights along the way. Internships are crucial for consolidating or changing career aspirations. It may well be that one has always had one’s sights set on one’s favorite industry up to this point, but in one’s internship one finds that the practice turns out to be completely different from what one had actually envisioned. So there’s no shame in changing your mind after a negative internship experience. Also, it may be that an internship has brought unexpected career opportunities because one has caught the eye of superiors by performing well and has now been offered a job. Be that as it may – a proper evaluation from a personal point of view should definitely be included at the end of an internship report. Here you can change from a neutral style of writing to emotional language, as long as the tone remains appropriate. Words like "dream job", "exhausting" and "super exciting" or "extremely frustrating" may be used with pleasure!
To support statements, however, it is always good to use examples of concretely experienced situations instead of overly emotional language.
However, a conclusion is not enough – as with a term paper, an internship report deserves appendices, which the reader can go through at the end. An internship certificate must absolutely be included in the appendix, as it is considered proof of the internship completed. Since companies are not always quick in issuing, in the case of not yet available certificate can also be inserted a copy of the employee ID card or the like. Apart from that, the author can put anything into the appendix that seems relevant to him. The size of the appendix is not counted towards the number of pages. Even designed work (z. B. (e.g. cross-section of a house during an internship in an architect’s office) or photos can be inserted at this point. If you have a sense of humor, you can even include a copy of the cafeteria menu – of course, only if the excellent employer benefits have been praised in advance.
There are a few no-gos that the writer should definitely consider. The absolute no-go is to falsify the internship report – no matter to what extent. There are said to be people who only pretend to have done an internship, but instead enjoyed free time and make up the complete report. The probability that the hoax will be discovered is relatively high. Also it is not proper to present the area of responsibility as more and more important than it actually was. Because at the latest with the practical course report the retourkutsche comes, since there the exact field of activity is described.
If you have had negative experiences with your company, you should include them in your evaluation, but never "settle" with the company in your internship report. Here it is necessary to remain professional and to swallow the anger.