It was after I applied for a second time to the DME internship that I realized I had been inconsistent with my weekly reports. I was not misrepresenting my work but I was using an unreliable method for documenting my hours each day. My planner for college worked well for my class assignments and dates for exams and papers, but it did not help me with measuring how many hours and how much work I had done on a particular project each week. I relied on the Jibble app for keeping track of my hours, but Jibble helps you to log your hours each week, not show what you did during the time you clocked in. Later, I was told by a friend that they used Excel spreadsheets to log and check their hours each week. That’s when I started using Excel to log my own hours every week, making it easier for me to verify the work I had done while also having easier access to my work when it came time to email my weekly reports every Thursday.
The second thing that really helped me better manage my time might sound obvious, but a good night’s sleep is one of the most underrated aspects of college life as an adult and most often a predicator of success in business and the workplace. The DME internship means more than just an internship at college. It is a chance to explore a professional virtual workplace and understand what a government agency requires and expects from you. I thought sleeping late into the afternoon would not negatively impact my energy and motivation, but I found that each week I felt more and more tired. I devised a plan to tackle the projects that were most important for me to complete in the morning and to leave my other responsibilities (work, college, personal life) for later. This meant I had to get up early around 8 a.m. with my active Border Collie and find a quiet place to do my work. After the first three weeks, I was looking forward to getting up early in the morning, although I’m not perfect and enjoy sleeping in past 10 a.m. during the weekend. I still believe in the benefits of getting eight hours of sleep every night as well as planning out each week in a planner and putting everything you do for the internship in either a Word document or a spreadsheet. This will save you the hassle of finding your work from the week on your computer and allow your weekly reports to be an accurate reflection of your work. Hopefully, this will help you improve your time at the internship as it has helped me in both my personal and public life.
Writer: Hagen Kenny
Editor: Katherine Berman
Graphic Designer: Katie Rahill