How To Get The Most Out Of Your Internship: Create Objectives For Yourself

Congratulations you made it through the school year and best of all, you secured a summer internship! What are you hoping to get out of this internship? What do you want to learn or gain from this internship? Before you start your internship it is important to think about these questions. To find the answers, it may be a good idea to create a list of objectives for what you are wanting from this experience.

Everyone is going to have different objectives for the industry they are going to be working in, but here are some examples that you can start your list off with…

  1. Become familiar with the profession you are working in.

Our courses can only prepare us so much to go out and work in the real world. Your internship is going to be a time where you truly learn what the profession is all about.

  1. Gain confidence in the skills and knowledge that you have developed through your coursework.

Trust what you know and apply it! You have spent hours gaining knowledge during lectures, applying what you have learned to your homework, and studying for exams. Be confident in what you have learned and contribute to tasks and projects to benefit the company.

  1. Be ready to learn new things about the profession from real world experiences.

You are going to learn so many new things from your supervisors, coworkers, and by getting hands-on experience. Take notes, ask questions, and just soak it all in. One day you will be able to utilize the skills, tips, and tricks you learned from your internship when you secure your first full-time position!

  1. Develop your professional image.

Developing your professional image is important because in each industry, it seems everyone knows everyone. If this internship doesn’t turn into a full-time job, it could make or break getting one with another company. Maintain good working relationships with the company and make sure you are constantly showing good work habits. Make sure you are dressing appropriately for the job, arriving on time, communicating professionally, staying organized, utilizing a good work ethic, staying positive no matter the task, and accepting and applying feedback.

  1. Start making the transition from student to professional.

No matter when you are doing an internship, whether it be after freshmen year, the summer going into your senior year, or even after graduation, start seeing yourself as a professional. You get to work side by side with industry professionals and get to help them with their work and projects so stand a little taller and be confident in the professional you are becoming.

  1. Enjoy the internship!

Yes you want to work hard but make sure your hard work isn’t taking away from enjoying all the new experiences you are getting. If there comes a point where you aren’t enjoying it, take a step back, look through your objectives you created for yourself, and see what needs to change for you to enjoy it. If you don’t, it might be a long summer for you.

I hope these examples are a helpful for you to start to your own  list. With each objective you create, consider ways you are going to meet them. It may be a good idea to create bulleted lists under each one with specific ways you can meet that objective. Remember this isn’t a checklist where an objective is a one and done type of thing. Continually work to achieve these throughout your whole internship!

Best of luck, you got this!

By Sophie Semanko
Sophie Semanko Career Mentor