How To Set Internship Goals

Updated June 9, 2023

Goals are a great way to gain motivation during your internship and to make sure you learn as much as possible in a short period of time. Tracking your goals and progress can help you acquire the skills you’ll need to begin your career and be able to clearly demonstrate them on your resume. In this article, we will discuss what internship goals are, the steps necessary to create internship learning targets and consider examples of internship goals.

What are your internship goals?

Internship goals are the skills and insight you want to gain through your experience. You should set these when you first begin your internship so you know what you want to accomplish and can make sure you are actively working toward it. You might decide your objectives on your own or together with your supervisor. These goals provide evidence of what you learned so you can use it to your advantage when searching for a new job.

Related: Definitive Guide To Internships

How to create internship goals

Here are several steps to consider when you create your internship goals:

1. Define what you are passionate about.

When you are evaluating what internship outcomes you hope to achieve, it helps to see what areas you would like to learn more about. For example, if you are interested in learning more about software applications companies use within your field, you may set a goal to be proficient with a particular program the company uses by the time you finish your internship. When you set objectives that you are enthusiastic about, you will feel more motivated to work toward them.

2. Think about the overall goal of your internship.

When you start a new internship at a company, you can stay focused by remembering what the overall purpose of the internship is. If you are in school to be a veterinarian, you could set an internship goal to have a better understanding of a veterinarian’s daily scope of responsibility. By the time you finish your time with the company, you should know how a normal day goes, what duties a veterinarian has and any extra training you may need. This allows you to assess whether you have any questions you would like clarification on. The sooner you ask questions in your internship, the more quickly you will learn.

Related: Writing an Internship Cover Letter

3. Set measurable goals.

The first step of creating internship goals and objectives is to define them and create ways for measuring your progress. When you use specific numbers to work toward, you have a better chance of achieving your goals. For example, you might want to deliver 10 different presentations to your manager by the end of the quarter. You could go a step further by saying you want them to all be 20 minutes long. These are two goals you can work toward during the quarter.
To ensure you meet your quarterly goal, it is helpful to create a schedule of when you will complete these tasks. You could say that you will give a presentation for the next 10 Fridays to make sure they get done. If you share this with your supervisor, you will have another reason to stay accountable.

4. Write down your goals.

Writing out your internship goals is vital to accomplishing them. It will help you remember them if you put them in a place you see regularly. You can write them on sticky notes or a whiteboard by your desk to remind yourself what you are working toward. As you complete each internship goal, you can experience achievement by crossing it off before deciding which of your remaining goals you would like to focus on next.

Related: How To Get the Most From Your Internship

Internship goal examples.

The following are sample internship objectives and goals for a marketing intern:

Learn how to use the social media marketing tool by Aug. 15.

This lists a specific action you want to learn as well as the date you want to learn it. This goal is to increase your knowledge of the social media marketing tool and could go a step further by saying you want to have the ability to demonstrate how it works to a colleague by Aug.15.

Meet with Sam for coffee by Sept. 1 to discuss their role.

Many people go into internships to shadow specific people. If you have a particular interest in what the sales representative at your marketing company does, you can make it a goal to meet with them before you leave so you can ask about their role, duties and any advice they may have.

Deliver five 20-minute presentations on internet marketing by the end of quarter 3.

This specific internship goal lists how many presentations you want to give, how long they will be and when you want to complete them. It also states what topic you intend to cover so you can begin studying this now and start to prepare the outline for your presentations.

Give weekly updates for the department every Friday at the staff meeting.

This is a common internship task, as your manager may want to see that you understand everything going on in the company each week. A good way to show this is by verbally relaying the information to others. This goal motivates you to pay attention during the week and shows others that you are learning.

You can gain more from an internship when you set goals for yourself. Writing them down and listing specific tasks with due dates helps you stick to them. You can leave the internship feeling more confident and ready to enter the workforce.

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