How to Set Goals for Your Internship

Fri, Feb 24, 2012

Internship Information

As you prepare to finish your education, you may find that you have the opportunity to intern in a company or firm that is similar to, or the exact one where you’d like to work someday. Your internship is what you make of it, and can be a positive experience that sets you out on your path, or it can be extremely negative and may affect your future career in ways you’d rather it not. You can help yourself out by setting goals for yourself to help you throughout the experience so it has the potential to be one of the best experiences of your life! Here’s how:

Your work ethic. This is what your bosses are primarily concerned with: what kind of a worker you are. It may help you to keep in mind as you make your goals that these people you’ll be working with are also the people you’ll be turning to for a recommendation once the internship is over, so having a healthy work ethic – and not slacking – is the first goal you should put on your list. Keep your eyes on the prize, and that means being as efficient as you can possibly be.

Problem solving. Your second goal should have something to do with your strength in handling stress and the ways that you solve problems. It’s understandable if you’re nervous. Being an intern is definitely not for the weak of heart. But you should start thinking now of the decisions that you’ll undoubtedly be called upon to make. These can be hard calls that require you to think on your feet. Therefore, one of your goals should definitely revolve around problem solving.

Communication skills. After honing your work ethic and problem solving skills, making sure that you are a strong, clear, concise, and friendly communicator should also be on your list. What is your speaking voice like? How are your writing skills? Can you convey everything you need to quickly and efficiently in an email without making any spelling or mechanical errors? Make it a goal to be as up to date as possible on your own communication skills, as well as the latest technology that will allow you proceed with this communication.

Your ego. Even if you happen to be a master of communication management, you should still see that one of your goals is about maintain your ego and keeping it healthy. That means being humble when being humble is called upon but also remembering to keep your self esteem high. Even if you were hot stuff in college, keep in mind that being an intern is about paying your dues. Make it a goal to be friendly without being oily or unctuous.

Networking. Your internship is all about making friends and connections that can help you out after your time as an intern has passed. Make the most of it! One of your goals should be attending social events for your firm and getting to know as many people as you can.

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