How can an intern use a bullet journal?
Bullet journaling is an excellent way for interns to demonstrate organization, flexibility, and planning skills to the group where they are interning. Often information is shared intermittently, incompletely, or not at all and the intern is left wondering what to do. Here are five recommendations on how an intern can use bullet journaling to their advantage.
As a intern there is a ton of information you will need to know just for your internship. Contact phone numbers, employee IDs, building schedules, help desk information, and so on. Keeping a page (or more than one) in your bullet journal will keep this information at your fingertips and keep you from fumbling around trying to find something they told you on your first day.
Pro tip: Fight the urge to write down your passwords for network logins directly in your journal. This is typically a security no-no and will not get you in the good graces of the company. As an alternative, come up with a secret code you can encrypt your password into. A pass phrase is a great way to do this. For example, if your password is Banana1, write down “King Kong’s dinner is the best!”. That should be enough for you to remember your password without violating security protocols.
Track your schedule
Interns usually have a fixed schedule for their time on site, but sometimes this can flex depending the type of internship they have. If you’re working on a flexible schedule, keep track of your schedule and internship hours in your bullet journal not only for reference but also for validation you are getting credit for the hours you put in.
You will likely meet a number of people as an intern, most of whom you won’t remember after a few days. Use your bullet journal to record who you have met, how you met them, and if you have additional contacts with them, especially around projects and work. Through this record keeping you’re building your professional network, something that is critical for success in the working world.
Things you’ve learned
Part of the objective in internships is not only to get exposure to jobs and work, but also to learn new skills and put them to use. As an intern you should be cataloging your new skills and how you have used them so later on you can share these accomplishments in resumes and interviews. If you don’t capture the details when they happen, you’re most likely to not do it later and then they’re lost for good. Set your self up for success by making note of your growth as you proceed through your internship.
If you’re looking to spin your internship into a job at the company, the more information you have about the organization come interview time the better off you will be. Take advantage of your bullet journal to capture information about the company’s organization, mission and values, possible areas you would like to work in, and so on. This information will prove invaluable when it comes to prepping for the interviews that will inevitably come as a result of your hard work.
Bonus tip – Conveying professionalism
It’s not often I am impressed by an intern since for the most part the ones I interact with are all smart, capable people who are motivated to take on the challenges I face. The ones I remember are the ones who demonstrate a professional maturity beyond the normal intern stereotypes. Show up at a meeting with with a pen and legal pad and you’ve met my expectations. Pull out a journal during a conversation and say, “hang on, let me write that down” and you’ve exceeded my expectations. It’s a little thing but little things add up.
Internships can be a mixed bag of successes and disappointments. What you get out of your internship and how it helps your career growth is up to you. Using tools such as bullet journaling can tip the process in your favor and keep you moving forward.
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