Keeping an internship summary doc

I always keep a log of my internship. Each week I write out:

  • things I did that week (all the code changes)
  • nontechnical things I contributed or did (maybe an event I went to or a conversation I had or something)
  • reflections on what I think I did well or could work on and just how I felt about the week (i.e. I felt anxious about x thing I want to work on getting better at y thing)
  • goals for next week or the rest of the internship in general

And then I bring all those things to my 1:1 and talk about them and write out a summary of things we talked about in another section of the summary, as well as adding any extra goals that came out of the conversation

It's really nice to see what I've gotten done, and be like "yes I did do things!"

And it's also nice to keep track of all the things I want to work on. Having them written down makes it easier to go back later and ask my mentor how I'm doing.

Another personal benefit is that it helps you remember what you've done during your internship, which is useful a year later when you have to write a new resume or talk about your previous job during an interview.

Here are some excerpts from one of my internships, to give you an idea:


  • Feeling tired and restless makes it hard to get stuff done
  • Only working on [my main project] makes it feel like I’m not getting as much done - thinking about how variety of things making the number of things feel like more (in time and in stuff accomplished)
  • Nervous about people understanding the big codebase I'm writing
  • [my project] forward - how much to prioritize [some functionality] vs [a thing that would be good before shipping] vs code clarity

Things I did this week:

  • Math solver
  • Added basic division support
  • Changed the way polynomial multiplication worked
  • A fair bit of cleaning things
  • Math card
  • It’s blue now
  • Has graphs for some things
  • Has roots for some things
  • Other
  • Helped with the study daddy spam prevention
  • Made a #diversity slack channel
  • Chatted with [some employees] about feedback culture at the company

1:1 takeaways:

  • Wrapping little functionality in functions is helpful for refactoring
  • More tests! :)
  • Put some time on calendar for research and testing daily
  • Think about different people and how they think and work and how you can most effectively work with them and convince them of your goals
  • New systems don't always implement easily. People have to be really behind it and get in the habit. It's hard to create change but that doesn't mean we shouldn't talk about it.
  • People have must-have goals, and nice-to-have goals. Think about this when trying to encourage people to do certain things