So you’ve found the perfect summer internship, but how do you know if your internship is going to provide you with what you need if you’re not sure what type of experience it is that you want, or if you haven’t established any goals to know what you hope to accomplish?
The most amazing internship experiences are those that prepare students for the work they hope to do after graduating from Midd.
How to Choose Your Goals
From the folks at wayup.com in their article, “How to Set Great Internship or Job Goals” (read the full article here):
Setting the best, achievable goals for your internship or entry-level job largely depends on knowing what you want, what you’re capable of, what your role will enable you to reasonably do, and what the company is trying to do. When setting your goals, it’s important to ask yourself a few key questions.
First, ask yourself why you accepted this internship or job. This should help you figure out what you should try and learn from it. Understanding your own personal motivation for taking the job should help you set a good personal learning goal.
Second, consider what the company is trying to do. Your goals should benefit you and the company. If your goals don’t align with the company’s goals, then your efforts likely won’t have any impact on the company’s success and you won’t be able to demonstrate your value to the company.
Third, ask yourself what type of impact you’d like to have on the company. What would you be most proud of achieving?
Fourth, examine the responsibilities of the role you have at the company and determine what your role will enable you to achieve. If you’re a sales intern, you probably won’t be super successful at helping the company achieve their engineering-related goals.
Internship Goal Examples
- Social media marketing intern – Grow Twitter followers by 25% by the end of summer.
- Software Engineering Intern – Learn Ruby on Rails and deploy 1 new feature by the end of summer.
- Anyone – Have coffee with 1 full-time employee each week.
Once you have your goals set, it is helpful to track your progress. A good rule of thumb is to check in on your status one time dimension below the scope of your goals. For example, you should check on any monthly goals every week.
Do what you can to make the most out of your summer internship. Make friends with your coworkers, take lots of notes, go above and beyond to help where needed, and always act professionally. This will make you stand out and hopefully gain some contacts within your field, which will hopefully lead to some job prospects!