Internships are seen as an essential stepping stone into starting your career path. Years of academic knowledge can finally be put into practice in the real world. While internships are mostly done for academic purposes or to help your CV stand out, what really helps you get the most out of them is if you set yourself internship goals.
What are internship goals
The aims that an intern sets out to attain throughout their internship period are referred to as internship goals. The goals can be tailored to the intern's career objectives, skill development, or personal development. Gaining hands-on experience in a certain business or field, creating a professional network, improving communication and teamwork skills, and gaining exposure to varied work environments are all frequent internship aims. Interns may make the most of their internship opportunities by setting clear goals at the start of their internship and tracking their progress toward those goals throughout the internship. Achieving internship goals can assist interns in standing out to potential employers, demonstrating their abilities and strengths, and gaining vital insight into their career path. Interns must convey their goals to their supervisors or mentors and solicit feedback on their progress. This feedback can assist interns in identifying areas for improvement and making necessary adjustments to their goals. Finally, internship goals should correspond with the intern's long-term professional goals and desires, and meeting those goals can help them succeed in their chosen field.
When you do an internship, it is essential that you set your internship goals. Internship goals can help you get the most out of your experience. It can also motivate you to do well and make the whole experience more enjoyable, worthwhile and fulfilling.
So what should your internship goals be or how do you set them? Worry not, because we have the guide that will help you determine what your internship goals will be.
How to determine your goals
To explore your internship goals we first need to break down how to determine your goals. Determining your goals can be split into four simple steps that you can do to determine your goals for the internship.
Define what you are passionate about
So the first step that can help you determine what your internship goals are is to define what you are passionate about. If you find something you are passionate about it can motivate you to accomplish your goal or drive you to really accomplish it. Aligning a goal with your passions and achieving it can bring a real sense of fulfilment and you really get to make the most of it.
Think about the overall goal of your internship
Next for your internship goals, you need to think about the overall goal of your internship. What are you looking to get out of this experience or looking to accomplish? Is it gaining more experience in the industry? Are you looking to develop a particular skill set? Asking yourself questions like this will really help determine what the overall goal of your internship will be.
Set measurable goals
Once you have noted down your overall internship goals you need to set measurable goals. You can follow the SMART goal system which stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound goals. You need to be realistic about your goals and these need to be achievable in the time frame you have available. Setting measurable goals can help determine your goals.
Write down your goals
Lastly, we strongly recommend writing down your internship goals. This makes it easier for you to remember so it is deeply instilled into your brain. You can make it even better by keeping a weekly tracker of these goals by writing down your progress of what you have learned or accomplished each week.
Skills employers look for in an intern
Now that we know how to find our own internship goals, it would be helpful to also explore the type of skills employers look for in an intern. Who knows, maybe you can align your goals with what they are looking for. This can help increase your chances of potentially landing a full-time position afterwards! Let’s explore the most common skills employers look for in an intern.
In a world that is constantly changing that drives changes in the workplace, one of the key skills to master as an intern is to be adaptable. Being adaptable is a great asset for any company as it will make life easier for you and your company and is a great internship goal.
As an intern, you are expected to bring new ideas to the table. You may be seen as the “newbie” but part of the reason why you were also hired is that the employers saw potential in you. Critical thinking will especially help when dealing with issues and finding solutions. Who knows? Sometimes you may be the key to weeks if not months of work that hit a dead end. To be the hero they need is a great internship goal.
As an intern, there will come scenarios where you will be expected to work independently. Your supervisor will not always be there to help you. You will have tasks and responsibilities and this is where you will be encouraged to self-manage. If you are able to manage your time and tasks, not only will it help your supervisor and make their life easier but it also shows that you can be independent too!
An internship is all about gaining valuable experience. It is a whole learning experience essentially about your chosen industry and whether it is the right career path for you. Companies value someone eager to learn, but if you can also show that you learn quickly, that will feel like a big win for them and a great internship goal for you. This will help save them so much time and effort but more importantly for you is that they can give you more responsibilities increasing your overall value to the company.
Communication is one of the most valued skills in the workplace and is a must among your goals for an internship. Communication plays such an important role in the workplace and a lot of the issues can be resolved as a result of good communication. Good communication is an underrated skill but one of the most important so this needs to be an internship goal for you.
This skill like communication is one that is extremely underrated but one that can do wonders. Emotional intelligence refers to the ability to be in control, use and understand your emotions and use them in positive ways to communicate effectively, empathize, overcome challenges, relieve stress and reduce conflict. Having this particular trait is one that is deeply valued and needs to be among your internship goals.
Lastly, one of the most important skills is being able to manage your time effectively. As an intern, you will be given more responsibilities throughout your duration. Not only will you build more responsibilities but more will also be expected from you. You will be required to manage your time effectively as your responsibilities increase. Mastering the art of time management is a great internship goal to have as it will get you far and will make your life easier!
One thing that you need to take advantage of and needs to be among your internship goals is to make the most out of your networking opportunities. Networking plays such a huge role in the work world, 85% of positions are filled as a result of networking.
One of your internship goals needs to be to build relationships with individuals who can serve as a mentor or advisors. You need to build key relationships with people that you think will get you far and can aid your career development.
You need to expand your network with those who are like-minded. Being surrounded by a network that is like-minded can really help you grow professionally and inspire one another. Lastly, you need to build a network of technical specialists and potential founders.
Tips on networking
So what are the best ways to network? We have compiled a list of everything you need to do to ensure you make the most of your networking opportunities. Here are the ten steps:
- Before your job search, you should network
- Have a clear goal and come prepared
- Prepare conversation starters
- Introduce yourself to someone more experienced
- Show interest by asking people about themselves
- Engage active listening
- Each meaningful conversation needs to be followed up with notes
- Ask for what you want
- Exit a conversation gracefully
- Follow up every time
When you do an internship, it is important that you have internship goals you want to accomplish. You first need to determine your goals by going through the four steps mentioned above. It is also important to know what skill employers are currently looking for as this could be an internship goal for you too or an internship goal to strive for. Lastly, you need to have internship goals for networking as well because this will boost your employability chances.
If you are looking to do an internship then let us help you. AIP offers internships in more than 15 different countries and over 20 different industries. We can help find an internship that will be tailored to your needs, wants or internship goals you are striving for. Head over to our website and apply today!