Summer Internships Ebook Now Available (win a free copy)

Summer Internship Image

Following on from the Summer Internship Series on the DIY Career Development Blog this eBook explores the topic further and is packed full with the blog series, the worksheets and lots of completely new content.

Contents include:
– What is a Summer Internship?
– Why do a Summer Internship? (inc Pros and Cons List)
– How to: find a Summer Internship.
– How to: Create your own Summer internship.
– Application Checklist
– How to: make the most of your Internship – tips and tricks
– Keeping a Record of your Experience

Worksheets include:

1. Wish List Worksheet
2. Research Worksheet
3. Application Tracker Worksheet
4. Initial Goals Assessment and Preparation for Meeting
5. Meeting Notes
6. Action Plan
7. Diary Sheet
8. Progress Tracker
9. Review and Feedback Worksheet
10. Contacts
11. End of Internship Review
buy this eBook now

If you are doing a Summer Internship this Summer you can also grab the Summer Internship Record Notebook to help keep track of your internship.

Don’t forget to enter the giveaway


Don’t forget you can still enter the giveaway to win a FREE  copy of the Summer Internship Record Notebook from Printed Portal or a FREE copy of the Ebook in time for summer.

The competition is open for one week (closing at 5pm GMT on 7th July) … to enter simply answer the question

What do you hope to learn this Summer?

and email your answer to together with your preference of eBook or the organisational notebook. Two winners will be picked from the most interesting entries.


Summer Internships: Keeping a Record

As I mentioned last week it is important to take full advantage of your Summer Internship or Placement. As well as following the tips from last week it is important to also keep a record of your experience.

1. Take notes

Carry a notebook and pen at all times. Note down as much as you can about the things you are doing, the company and your co-workers.

2. Keep a daily diary

Your placement is likely to be 12 weeks maximum. Even if your don’t regularly keep a diary it is easy to jot down a line a day. Although realistically more detailed records are better. Try it.

3. Keep track of your review meetings, progress and any feedback given

You should have made a list of goals at the beginning of your internship or placement. It is important to keep an eye on these during your internship.

You should:

  • Check off your goals as you complete them
  • Review your goals periodically – if they are not being ticked off what can you do to achieve them?
  • Add more Goals. When you are working in the role you will think of even more things you want to achieve and would like to do during your time at the company. Write them down.
  • Discuss your goals with your supervisor (if appropriate) and consider whether you are meeting the goals the company has set for you.

4. Keep track of Contacts

On an internship you will meet a lot of new people. Make sure you keep in contact with those you click with and add them on LinkedIn or get their email address.  It also helps to keep your own list so that you can keep extra notes like how you met them, tidbits of information you know about them and their skills/recommendations.

5. Update your C.V.

And finally, once it is all over make sure your C.V is updated to include this additional experience. Update your C.V using your notes and records while it is still fresh in your mind.

Time Management: Prioritisation using Paired Analysis

So you have written up your to-do list and it is a mile long, everything needs to be done ASAP… how do you prioritise the items on your list?

Prioritisation can be difficult particularly if you work for others and lack control over your own to-do list/workload.

Today I am going to share a prioritising technique called ‘paired analysis’. The paired analysis process allows you to compare each task on your to-do list relative to the others.  It is simple – compare two items and decide which is more important. You simply look at two items at a time and fill in the grid – rather than comparing the list as a whole. This makes it more manageable and less overwhelming.

1. Download the free Worksheet

Grab it here.

2. Write your do to list

Write your to-do list in the left hand column (or copy the items you want to prioritise from your to-do list into this list). You don’t have to write them down in any particular order nor do you have to completely fill the box. The next steps will do the priorising for you with however many items you have.

3. Complete the Grid

Each box on the grid represents a pairing. Mark in each box which is more important and then grade the importance – 1, 2 or 3. 1 being a bit more important and 3 being a lot more important.

So for example lets take the first box.

  • Compare Task A with Task B.
  • Is Task A or Task B more important?
  • Write the letter of the task that is more important in the box.
  • Next consider how much more important it is. 1, 2 or 3?
  • write this number in the box beside the letter.
  • continue for all the items on your list.

4. Total the Scores

Now you need to add up the total number of points for each letter and write the total in column T. Complete this for all the relevant letters.

5. Rank the Tasks

Finally, rank the tasks by assigning a number to them in Column R. Number them from 1 onwards starting with the Task (Letter) with the highest total in column T. You should then have a priority order to work from. If more than one is tied. Pick one to prioritise (or toss a coin).

Join the Discussion: Don’t be Average… Be More!

Join the Discussion

I want to encourage readers to open up and engage in discussions. You are all invited to hang out here and discuss, via comments, the topic of the day, previous posts or in fact anything at all relevant to career development.  Or if you have a specific question to toss into the mix email me at

This discussion is sparked by two things that caught my eye:

1. ‘Makeuseof’ reposted “11 ways to be Unremarkably Average” comic on their Facebook page AND

2. Time Management Ninja posted a great article “Are you choosing to be average?” last month.

Here at DIY Career Development we aspire to be more than average and we hope that our readers do to. DIY hopes to help readers find ways to be more than average, to help them harness their productivity so that they have more time to work on their career development and make the most of the opportunities that present themselves.

So how are YOU being more than Average?

Summer Internships: How to make the most of your Summer Internship

For the next part of the series I am writing a list of tips to help you make the most of your Summer Internship or Placement.

1. Be Professional

Make sure you act the part. This means being polite, dressing professionally and turning up to work on time. Any opinions formed should be based on your ability to do the job not the fact that you wear jeans to the office or always arrive half an hour late.

  • dress the part – even if you are invited to take part in casual friday.
  • watch your language
  • don’t moan bitch or complain
  • don’t indulge in office gossip
  • don’t flirt with co-workers
  • don’t drink alcohol at lunch
  • say thank you
  • address people correctly

2. Plan ahead and obtain feedback

Before you start your internship you should work out what you want to achieve.  Have a chat with your supervisor on your first day and see what their expectations are, explain what you want to get out of your time and try to find a way to keep everyone happy.

  • Check in with your boss regularly to discuss objectives, learning points and find out whether you are meeting expectations
  • Have a feedback session
  • take criticism under advisement and learn from your experiences
  • share your point of view but don’t be obnoxious or a know-it-all
  • if you are looking for a job – have a conversation about prospects and what the company is looking for
  • build a relationship with your supervisor.

3. Learn as much as you can

You should have already made a plan about what you want to achieve during your internship, but you should also be focusing on simply learning as much as you can.

  • be enthusiastic
  • take notes
  • ask questions (but not too many)
  • say yes to everything and demonstrate what you can do
  • bring solutions to the table – it doesn’t matter if they don’t work – participate
  • take your work seriously
  • be a team player

4. Network, Participate and Socialise

Make sure you speak up and join in with things. Don’t spend your internship being the mouse in the corner. If you don’t get to know others… they won’t get to know you. Internships are great fact-finding missions.

  • take part in social or sporting events
  • don’t have lunch at your desk – lunch with different people and get to know them better
  • don’t just mix with the other interns – spend time getting to know the full-time employees too
  • Smile (it makes you more approachable)
  • introduce yourself and talk to different people to learn more about the company

5. Keep in Touch (and ask for references)

After all the hard work you have put in don’t forget to keep in touch and ask for references. Even if you didn’t get a job or have decided that you don’t want to follow that career path you never know when it might be beneficial.

Time Management: One hour a day…

Do you have an “in the background” project that you are supposed to be doing? Are you getting it done?


Quite frequently we have “in the background” projects such as filing, record keeping, databases etc that are ancillary to the job we do, a bit on the dull side but nevertheless important to do – at some point. Usually it is a mixture of ‘I don’t particularly want to do this’ and ‘I don’t have time to do this’ as quite often there are more important and more interesting things to be getting on with.

However, if we don’t dedicate any time to “in the background” projects they will never get done (or when we do have time will be so overwhelming that we don’t know how to get started).

The solution…

Step 1: allocate one hour a day to “in the background” projects.

For example, at the moment I am trying to update our client database at work. This is a long task and requires files to be checked and addresses etc to be updated, duplicates removed etc and then the re-labeling and re-filing of the files. I have the assistance of a secretary for this job but both of us are continuously kept busy with our ‘real job’. So we have decided to allocate an hour a day so that we know that we have at least made a little bit of progress each day.

Step 2: Choose a specific hourly slot

It is not enough to say you will dedicate an hour a day to the task you also need to think about when the best hour in the day is for you. Choose an hour where you will actually get things done with minimal interruptions or if an easy admin task when your productivity is at rock bottom.

For example I normally choose the first hour of the day as I am an early bird and in the office before everyone else. This gives me some time which is usually interruption free so I can get it out-of-the-way before starting the rest of my day. By contrast the secretary who is assisting me has chosen the opposite end of the spectrum and uses her last hour of the day after the post has gone as anything she does after post will not be going out until the next day anyway. She can’t do it in the morning like I do as she is usually swamped with phone calls.

Step 3: Block it out in your Calendar

Add it to your schedule or diary.

Join the Discussion: at what point do I stop referring to myself as a graduate?

Join the Discussion

I want to encourage readers to open up and engage in discussions. You are all invited to hang out here and discuss, via comments, the topic of the day, previous posts or in fact anything at all relevant to career development.  Or if you have a specific question to toss into the mix email me at

This week I was discussing Graduate Schemes with a friend and we were pondering at what stage do we stop referring to ourselves as a graduate? After all everyone in our office has a degree and is for all intents and purposes “a graduate”, but you wouldn’t dare refer to your boss as a graduate – would you?

Not to mention that some companies use the word “graduate” to refer to their junior members, new intake or those on a graduate entry scheme. So the question is at what point do you lose the “graduate” which in this context makes you sound young and inexperienced?

Quite frequently your title changes from graduate [insert role here] to something like [insert role here] or Assistant [insert role here] etc. This will normally be 1-3 years depending on your chosen career. But what if you work for a smaller company no specific graduate scheme and might not even have a specific promotion system?

How long do you wait until taking control of your own career progression and doing it yourself?