You have landed that internship which you always wanted. Congratulations! However, getting the internship is only the start. You need to make your internship a success. A critical element to this is writing internship goals that you can share with your supervisor. Having goals not only is a major step to being successful, it will create a positive impression with the company, which may translate into a job offer or, at the least, an enthusiastic reference.
When writing internship goals, always keep in mind the key principle that the goal should be specific and measurable. While this sounds simple enough, writing great goals is difficult. A specific goal will clearly define what knowledge or skill will be acquired. For example, a common mistake made when writing internship goals is to set a goal of "understanding the business." While the concept behind the goal is good, the goal does not help anyone know if knowledge or a skill was acquired. A better goal would be to "be able to clearly explain how the company adds value to their customers". The goal should also be measurable -this means setting a due date and following up with your supervisor to make sure that you are on target with the goal.
As you write your internship goals, it helps to be aware of two distinct audiences. First, you want to create goals that add value to the company and enable you to show your skills. Remember, your ultimate goal is to get a good job. You can write that internship goal that not only demonstrates your abilities, but also provides value to the company. Future employers want to know how you will help them. Second, you want to write an internship goal that advances your skills and gets you the experience you need for the future. If you focus too intently on either of these areas, you will miss an opportunity to truly grow.
One other key thing to keep in mind when writing the internship goals is to share these goals with your supervisor and do frequent checks on your status. This accomplishes several things. First, it enables your supervisor to know how she can help. Second, it enables you to keep on track. A common problem for even experienced professionals is getting caught up in the day-to-day tasks and losing sight of the bigger goals.
Using these tips to write internship goals will ensure that you have a productive experience that benefits both your employer and you, and sets the tone for a potentially successful career.