Monday, July 08, 2013

What and why of internship and how to write an internship report ..

    Most educational Institutes in any part of the world ask their students pursuing a higher education to carry out an internship in an industry or organisation and submit a report for many reasons. Some of the important ones are listed here.

1. to give an industry exposure for the student
2. to let the student find the relationship between what he has studied and what is being practiced in industry
3. to understand the industry employee- management working relationship
4. to understand what is the outside world and how it feels like to work in the industry or an organisation
5. to get an idea of industry discipline, mannerisms in the office, shop floor, field etc.
6. to get an idea of customer needs, demands and how they are being met by the industry / organisation
7. to understand how all employees in the organisation work collectively towards attaining the industry / organisational objective
8. to understand whether one has liking to any specific job or area
9. to provide an opportunity and training for the student to collect data, collate, analyse and interpret the results and present it in a presentable form.
10. to see places, interact with many different people, get their opinion on many aspects, experience systems, get training and information from experts and many other intangible benefits.

Steps in writing a report

1. Collect and collate all the primary and secondary data / information gathered from reports, Industry bulletins, by talking to senior employees, to shop floor, field staff and to customers
2. Analyse and prepare findings
3. Write a report in a standard structured manner after collating the information collected

The main benefit of the Internship report  is to highlight the analytical and critical thinking style of the student.

What all should a report have (or what to put on the Index page) :

1. The first and most pertinent part is the title page ( do not put in the index page) which has the title that gives an idea of the work carried out and details of organisation where the student has interned, the duration of internship, the name of the student and his organisation / college

2. An executive summary - a synopsis of the information in the report, gives an idea of a brief presentation of the objective of the internship, the work, your findings, analysis and critical findings of the study.

3. Provide background information of the organisation and the specific department where internship is carried out and the purpose of doing so.

4. Scope and Methodology - This is the most important body of the report. It lists the scope of the project, the specific objective of the internship, the data collected and the tools / methodologies used to analyse the data. The findings from the analysis is also explained with sufficient clarity. The implications of the findings is also discussed here. For different areas the data collected, tools used and findings will change. For a management internship for example, the report will have the supply chain details, the observations of the workers, the mode of transport, the location of warehouses, data collected on the frequency and loads transported on daily and weekly basis and the like. 

5. The summary part should contain the main observations and findings stressed again in the context of the organisation and its macro status in relation to national / international comparisons. This chapter also gives an idea of the learnings from the internship. Make sure that the learnings and findings from the report match up to the objectives initially you stated in your initial chapters of the report. 

6. It would be a good idea to list the learnings from the internship, the practical exposure and relationship between theory and practice.

Most people also add a section to the findings chapter on the limitations of the study, what all areas and aspects about the field which one could not get his / her hands on , the reasons, the possible impact of the additional information, how it would have changed the scope of the report and so on.

The main difference of a dissertation report and an internship project is that in a dissertation project one is supposed to make an original contribution to the field of knowledge (whatever minor it be) and document it, while in an internship report you are getting introduced to an organisation or industry and you are reporting your findings and observations of that organisation / industry. A seminar report, on the other hand, gives a state-of-the-art report of the literature / knowledge / understanding of a process / product / phenomenon etc for the interested audience and reader.

While writing the report be careful to avoid using/copying the writing of the original source from where you collect data and material. Copying from the original source without giving proper acknowledgements is called PLAGIARISING. In these days of ease of word processing, it is very easy to cut, copy and paste from thousands of sources on the Internet and digital documents in the public domain, but desist from doing so. 

Whatever information and literature one has collected from different sources and resources, kindly be courteous enough to acknowledge the source of that information and the author of that document. Remember the next time it may be your original document which you tiringly prepared which someone cuts, copies and pastes as HIS OWN. Really it hurts !!! If you do not want that fate to befall you and be so shabbily treated, behave likewise to authors from whom you have collected information.

With this information I am sure you can easily glide through the task of not only doing the internship, but understanding what is expected of you to learn and understand, the details of various information collected, collated and analysed using tools and then presented and critically looked at. 

Good wishes .. Enjoy your Internship Report preparation  ..

george easaw.. ( with inputs from

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