I have been at an internship with a big company for the summer and it's coming to an end in a few weeks. I was hired as a programmer and this was my first "real" programming job.
The first assignment I was given, which I asked for because I hadn't been assigned anything to do, was a spur of the moment idea to develop a prototype for a tool that they were using. I was given instructions which ended up being very different from what actually needed to be done and thrown into a project which had been going on for years. The colleague who was supposed to be helping me ended up frequently giving me incorrect instructions and would answer my questions vaguely or without actually looking at the problem. This made me think he was under the impression that if he knew it, I should too. As a result, 95% of my problems were due to lack of understanding their existing system or getting told to do the wrong thing.
The project I made up ended up becoming requested by someone so it was reassigned to a different college (it took him around 2-3 weeks). I feel that the project was over my head and that I was not provided proper guidance. However I can't help feeling like I failed or that management will feel the same.
I'm worried, as the end of the summer approaches, that my lack of anything concrete in terms of products will impact my review negatively. I did learn a lot and came away with experience which I value if nothing else.
So my question is: As an intern, is it really to be expected to be on the same level as the full time employees and is it normal to feel the way I do when not being able to do the task assigned?