Starting an internship is an exciting opportunity — finally, you’ve made it through school and are about to set the first steps in the professional world! That said, your internship is an important time that you can leverage to your advantage. And to do so, you need to set yourself some goals. Here are some of the most common objectives:
Learn new skills. In her article “How to Develop Goals for Your Internship” for The Balance Careers, Penny Loretto advises that you can use your internship to acquire new skills. For example, if you’re doing a content marketing internship, you might want to learn how to select the best places to publish specific types of content.
Put what you’ve learnt at school into practice. What you learn in the classroom is primarily theoretical, so you want the opportunity to put your knowledge into practice. Using the example of a content marketing internship, you might need to practice using keyword selection tools to optimize blogs and articles.
Build your résumé. In the Chron article “The Goals for an Intern,” Denise Brown states that completing projects that look good on your résumé should be a key goal of any internship. When you’re applying for a job, this will give you an edge over other candidates who don’t possess the same experience.
Meet new contacts. An internship is great for meeting new people — people who might be able to help you later on in your career. Ask colleagues and peers for informational interviews, and don’t forget to offer to help them in any way you can.
Get a foot in the door with a preferred employer. If you already know where you’d like to work after graduation, an internship can help you get noticed. In the best case scenario, you’d intern at the company itself. However, you can also do your internship at another company that has business dealings with your first-choice employer.
Enlist the help of your supervisor
Once you’ve pinpointed your objectives, it’s advisable to communicate your aspirations to your supervisor at the company before you start your internship, as Susan Adams points out in her Forbes article “How to Make the Most of Your Internship.” Ask your supervisor to confirm by email that he or she can help you with achieving your objectives, and ask for any additional insights the supervisor may have.
An internship lays the foundation for your career
Regardless of what your specific goals are for your internship, it’s important to understand that this time of your life lays the foundation for your future career. That’s why you should always do your best to behave professionally — so you can represent both your school and the company well.