Want to optimize your internship experience? Then it is time to set some internship goals. Regardless of what stage of the internship process you’re in, I’m giving you some ideas on how you can set goals that will help you to live your best internship life.
A few important tips re: goal setting before we dive into the good stuff:
- Make your goals measurable.
- Write your goals down.
- Share your goals with people you trust and respect for accountability.
So what types of goals should you be setting before, during and after your internships? Well the specifics will be up to you, but below are some suggestions to get you started.
Goals to Set Before Your Internship
Before you succeed in landing an internship, goals are important to ensure that you are taking the necessary actions to network, apply and prepare for the best opportunities. Some examples of internship goals you can create that will keep you on track for obtaining an internship are:
- Attend 3 networking events between fall and winter semesters to learn about new internship opportunities.
- Apply for 7 internships by March 1st.
- Save an extra $200/month for the next 8 months to cover cost of living expenses during future unpaid internship.
Goals to Set During Your Internship
Going into the internship, it is always good to sit down with your supervisor and map out what success looks like as an intern with their company. Some companies have very clear expectations for their interns and will have specific projects set aside for you. Other companies have no clue what to do with you and how exactly you can contribute (truth time). Either way, take the time up front to ask the right questions of yourself and your supervisor so that clear goals can be set and agreed upon.
It’s equally important to decide what personal goals you have for the internship. These goals can be in the form of learning a new skill that you can add to your resume, or feeling more comfortable presenting in front of your peers. Below are some examples of internship goals you can set during the internship to get you thinking up some goals of your own:
- Go to lunch with 10 different colleagues before completing the internship.
- Complete “Project XYZ” by the end of July.
- Present “Project XYZ” updates at two company all-hands meetings.
- Contribute to company blog by writing six content pieces.
Goals to Set After Your Internship
Once you complete the internship, it’s important to ensure all the hard work you put in during the internship continues to work in your favor going forward. Best way to do this is to set some specific goals and stay in touch with the people who had the biggest impact on your internship experience. You never know what doors these contacts can help to open for you in the future. Some examples of post-internship goals are:
- Update resume with internship experience and measurable results no later than two weeks after completing the internship. (Pro Tip: Do this before you forget all the good stuff. The earlier the better!)
- Ask a minimum of two colleagues for recommendations on LinkedIn. (Get my tips and templates on how to go about asking for LinkedIn recommendations in day three of my free-five day LinkedIn™ on Lock! course. You can sign up here.)
- Stay in touch with supervisor and/or other professional contacts made during the internship once per quarter (via email, phone or better yet, treat them to coffee).
With goal setting, don’t forget to track your progress and celebrate the wins along the way. And it’s always important to get feedback throughout your internship journey so you can quickly course-correct if necessary and get back on track to achieving the goals you set out to accomplish. Now go forth and set some internship goals. Here’s to living your best internship life!