So you dove head first into your internship and it’s been a few weeks…and you have no idea what you’re doing. Sure, you know how to finish your tasks in a timely manner, but why are you laboring for this company? Your school, parents, or mentors probably told you it looks good on a resume and that it makes you more hire-able. But there’s so much more to an internship, right?
So you didn’t organize your summer goals in an excel spreadsheet in March. So what? It’s never too late to add internship goals as you go. This internship might even inspire new goals that you may not have thought up otherwise. The intern-ship hasn’t sailed yet! Excuse the bad metaphor/pun.
This internship might even inspire new goals you may not have thought up otherwise.
The worst thing you could do is walk into your internship unwilling to take advantage of presented opportunities and walk out with the same skills and mindset.
Here are some goals to consider to help you develop your own set of summer goals.
Master at Least One Skill
This is the reason you got the internship in the first place, to learn a new skill. At least, it should be. It could be an extremely specialized skill such as computer engineering or a general position like human relations. The era of coffee fetching interns is running to an end. Even if you end up getting stuck running beverage errands, that shouldn’t prevent you from asking probing questions. In many cases, your fellow colleagues are more than willing to teach you something if you simply ask.
In many cases, your fellow colleagues are more than willing to teach you something if you simply ask.
Your company probably has a ton of industry insight to offer. All you have to do is tap into that potential.
Say Yes to Every Opportunity
Keep in mind; you are working under professionals. If they ask you to help them with a special project, say yes! If your colleagues asks you to lunch, say yes! Say your supervisor invites you to an office party, definitely say yes! All of these opportunities prove to your fellow workers your work ethic and your willingness to be apart of the their work environment. This also opens you to networking opportunities.
Network like its work
This may be one of the most important advantages you could get out of an internship. It is key, however, not to come in with the attitude that you are only there to build up your repertoire. Hard workers get noticed, but hard workers with a selfless work ethic get respected and hired. But don’t be shy to talk with your employers or supervisors!
Hard workers get noticed, but hard workers with a selfless work ethic get respected and hired.
Ask them out to coffee to inquire about their achievements and how they got to where they are. These could be the connections that set up your career.
Self evaluate your performance
Reflection is a huge part of retaining what you’ve learned. Write in a weekly journal how you think you progressed and what you could improve on. If journals aren’t your thing, make a google docs folder and create a weekly archive. If weekly is too much, try logging biweekly or monthly. This may also help you improve as you go and finish your internship with excellence.
Is this what you want?
While interning, make an effort to imagine yourself doing exactly what you are doing for the next 10-15 years. Is the work environment stable? Would this limit your options for future opportunities? Do you think you would enjoy it? This is the ultimate conclusion any intern has to face.
Would this limit your options for future opportunities?
A nice aspect to each of these goals is that they could be tailored towards a specific career or a wide variety of fields. A Forbes article cites the Bureau of Labor Statistics, stating that millennials (ages 22-36) are expected to hold an average of 15-20 jobs over the course of their lives . So even if you don’t know what you want to do yet, these goals can help set you up for future success.
Got a burning question, a topic suggestion or a really cool intern story? Shoot us an email!