So, you’ve landed a summer internship. Congratulations! As you know, internships are extraordinary opportunities to learn and grow. However, internships can only be what YOU make of them. In order to make the most of your experience, you need to set some solid goals.
Finding Your Passion & Setting Goals
Passion grows when you pursue a goal. You play with passion because you want to win, you write with passion because you want to convey, and you will work with passion because you want to succeed. “There is no passion to be found in playing small.”-Nelson Mandela
The first step to charting out how you want your internship to run its course is to look back and remember how you arrived where you are. Reflect on why you wanted to intern at the company you’re now at. How did you think the experience would serve you? Why did the idea of working there excite you? It will be important to re-ignite the spark of passion that led you to the internship as assignments are poured on you during your first days as an intern. Passion is the most direct way to your success.
Setting Successful Goals for your Summer Internship
Setting goals as an intern requires that you define success. What do you want to accomplish by the end of the summer? Some examples of this could be leading a project of your own, making a connection with another company, or receiving a job offer.
Remember to make your goals measurable. Specific numbers should be incorporated in your goals. For example, you want to prepare and present 7 fifteen-minute presentations to your manager and co-workers by the end of the summer.
Break your goal down into a more organized schedule: ex. you want to complete a presentation every week for this month.
Write your goals down. This will enable you to look back on them occasionally and check to see how you’re progressing. If one of your goals is to become an effective networker, continually develop that goal by meeting with people on a weekly basis.
Make goals that you believe you can meet. However, (and this part is crucial) once you reach the first set of goals you create, create new ones! Allow yourself to be satisfied with the accomplishment of a goal, but continue to look ahead. A marathon runner doesn’t stop to celebrate at each mile-marker.
No matter what industry you’re in, you should always strive not only to meet the expectations of your role but to exceed them.
The key to exceeding expectations is to take extra steps in each of your individual projects. When you finish a piece of writing, reread it several times and replace mediocre words for shimmering ones. When you finish meeting with someone, shoot them an email or facebook message thanking them for their time. When you finish all your assignments for the day, help others fulfill theirs; I guarantee they won’t forget it. There is always more to be done. Continually be alert and search for what more you can do.
Come into your work with passion, set to exceed the clear goals you laid out for yourself. If you keep your goals in front of you as you strive to be productive in the workplace, you will be surprised how much you will achieve. Don’t be satisfied with just a base hit; strive to hit the ball out of the park. If you do so, you will be well on your way to Mastering Summer Internships.
***This is the first installment of the new series, Mastering Summer Internships. These articles will show how you can make the most of your summer internship experience and how to be viewed as the rockstar intern by your entire company. Enter your email below to receive a weekly update with the latest installments of Mastering Summer Internships.