Your Internship Log : What is it? Why do we want our interns to write them? What is the purpose?
Your internship log fulfills at least three important purposes:
1. Tracking. It is a record of your internship progress. Your log can help you remember things you have already learned, reflect on things you want to learn more about, and keep track of what you have and haven’t done. If you are working on an internship for college credit, many universities require a written log just for this purpose, so it can help you with your school requirements as well.
2. Feedback. Through the logs, we can evaluate concepts you are understanding well, and identify ones which need worked on. If you are assigned a certain task to help you understand a concept, your log should reflect on not just what you did that day, but how it relates to your learning objectives. It helps both us and you understand where you are. We can see areas or ideas that you are making good progress on, and/or areas you need to improve, and then we don’t waste time repeating the same lessons, but rather we can use your log to stay on track and keep moving forward. The logs are on the website in blog form because that makes it easy for us to comment and give you feedback, directly on a specific log entry.
3. Community outreach. The question: “What does Athens’ Own do?” comes up often in conversation with community members. Your logs will help illustrate some of the actions we are working on, as well as vividly illustrate how we are attempting to educate and train you for future opportunities. The community can also see the feedback process, and other people looking for educational models can clearly see how we use our logs to work towards our goals.
How to write a log:
Although each person has their own style and format preferences, here are a few things to keep in mind when writing a log:
1. The audience. Keep the above purposes in mind. Try to write in a way that is as transparent and clear as possible, so that the Athens’ Own team, community, and distant readers can understand what and why you are writing. There is so much happening and so much connected to each small action, that there is no reason why your log should be just a recount of the day’s events. Think about what you want future readers to glean from your experience and write to them.
2. Timeliness: We work at the speed of business and the speed of resilience, which is nearly instant. Please don’t wait a week to write a log. By then, it’s likely the information is out of date. Ideally, you should post a log when you get home from working with Athens’ Own, or even DURING your workday, while it is happening, if you can.
3. Concepts and connectedness. If all of our interns wrote logs which simply stated: “This is what I did today”, we would have a lot of repetitive information, and not much interesting or visible progress. Try to connect the small actions you did today to the bigger picture, the concepts behind what you are doing, and what you have done before. If, for example, one day you do extensive work with a mentor to learn about Holistic Management, and the next day you package coffee, see if you can draw in some insight into the coffee packaging from what you learned about Holistic Management. Or, you could think ahead and speculate as to how a future project or learning session could enhance your understanding of the coffee process.
4. Do your best. This is your opportunity to demonstrate not only your writing skills, but your ability to organize information, present it, and motivate others to get involved with Athens’ Own. We take the logs very seriously, and we hope you will too.
5. Write the date and author at the beginning of your log entry.