I've just completed my 4th week of the internship. It's actually halfway to the required standard, but the office asked my batch for an additional week which means I'll be here for 9 weeks. As the normal schedule has already begun since the first day after eid holiday, I think I'm kinda drained. I could sleep well every night even without entertaining myself until I'm bored whenever it's close to bedtime. FYI I go to bed at 10 pm every day. To me it's a good habit which I learned from my experience when I was hospitalized for 2 weeks because of GERD. Anyway, in case you miss the first post about my internship, just click here.
For the past two weeks my internship life get more interesting while exhausting at the same time. Since I intern at a small office, everything had to be done in an efficient way. Beside working on my main project, our coordinator also assigned for several side projects that led us to places in Yogyakarta. Those days when my batch are going out for our side projects are my favorite because regular office days are just like other days in life.
To make this recap more interesting and informative, I chose the focus on my review about working in an academia atmosphere, especially in research.
Many friends asked me about how does it feel working in a research-based project atmosphere since most urban planning students (in Indonesia) work on planning documents during their internship. I'm that kind of student who is eager when it comes about doing analytical works that require reading, discussion, and comparing cases. It doesn't meant that working on planning documents are way easier, but working on research is a step before jotting down the plans. Working on research also means bridging theories with the current and forecasted situation to formulate solution or alternatives.
My side projects are also unique. Every week my team mate and I are required to produce at least one paper based on field study that we conduct. The method that we use are mostly primary which is consisted of interview and observation. So that I could meet new and inspiring people from different places. Moreover, conducting an interview has really challenged me. Even though I'm familiar with this kind of survey, interviewing people for my side project is vey different. Since we're given only one chance to interview our informant, we have to prepare the question very well. Our first paper wasn't really satisfying because our interview result was less deeper than expected by our coordinator. So, for the second and third theme we modified our method. We didn't bring any question list. Instead, we prepare a list of required information and let the interview flows naturally. A day before the D-day we googled and understand any related information that we can get to brainstorm ourselves. This method works very well because I can get a deeper insight about the topic that my team are working on while also making myself looked ready and interested in front of the informant. Beside that the second method also allows me to cross-checked the information that I get from the internet (because we can't trust all news portal right?).
The point is, chose a kind of internship that will make you grow. Formally, internship is a requirement from your school so that you could graduate and (at least) have an experience about the world that you'll face for years after graduation. But why don't you try to get an experience that could give you more than just a standard requirement? If you're intersted to be an academia as the way I am, I encourage you to choose a program/office that focus on research.