3 Internship Goals to Set Right Now

This post is part of a month-long series to help you start 2018 on the right foot. Throughout January, visit the Varsity Tutors blog for advice, tips, and tricks on how to reignite your passion for learning this winter.

Internships can provide college students with the opportunity to gain experience in their desired field before graduation. After landing an internship, it’s important to focus on getting the most out of the experience. One great way to ensure this? Make a list of goals to accomplish during your internship, such as remaining open to new experiences and taking advantage of networking opportunities.

Here are three internship goals to set right now:

Internship goal #1: Challenge yourself

An internship can offer you the opportunity to practice adaptability and to challenge yourself in new ways. Often, as an intern, you will be asked to perform a variety of tasks—sometimes with short notice. Don’t view this as a negative. Instead, use this as a chance to show your supervisor that you can handle the challenges thrown your way and can provide a quick turnaround on projects.

Since an internship can, at times, lead to a full-time position within an organization, illustrate the benefit you would pose to the company by asking questions or volunteering ideas. Show others that you can contribute to the mission of the organization, and that you could be a valuable asset. A challenging internship can keep you on your toes and teach you skills that you can take with you into the job field.

Internship goal #2: Network

One benefit of an internship is the potential to form valuable connections with other people in the organization. Connect with your supervisor, as well as with people in the areas and roles you may be interested in. Use these connections to discover more about the field you are pursuing.

If there are other interns at your organization, they are also valuable connections. You can maintain connections with these people, even after the internship has ended, in order to find out about future opportunities. Regardless of your role as an intern within the organization, expanding your professional network is a great benefit.

Internship goal #3: Be honest with yourself

At its core, the reasoning for an internship is to gain experience in your field in order to obtain full-time employment upon graduation. Internships, even if they are required by your degree program, are a time to discover what your future career might look like. Be honest with yourself if it is not what you expected, and make any adjustments necessary to your plan. If you have a semester-long internship, and by the end you know this is not the type of job you wish to do upon graduation, that’s okay. Internships are learning experiences, and the perfect opportunity to discover your niche in your desired field. On the other hand, if you love your internship and your future career goals are validated, use this knowledge to jumpstart your career plans. Consider applying for another internship, continue to network with professionals in your field, and begin looking into companies you think fit your vision.

Before beginning your internship, make a list of goals, including things you hope to accomplish during your experience and any expectations you may have. This will help you to be more present during your experience and effectively evaluate it afterwards.