Setting goals

You rocked your interview, you got the internship, and now you might be wondering “What next?” We all know that having an internship on your resume is important in helping you to land a job after graduation. However, it is just as important to make the most of your internship experience as it is to say that you had one.

Internships will help you to secure future jobs, but your experience will help you to succeed in those jobs.

I had my first internship the summer between my sophomore and junior years of college. I remember receiving the call saying that they wanted me on their team for the summer (I actually jumped for joy in my dorm hallway). After quickly accepting the offer, I was able to breathe easy the rest of the semester knowing that my plans were set.

When the first day of the internship finally arrived, I was surprised at how nervous I was since I’m usually a pretty confident person. After getting settled in and meeting all of the managers, I was fine. I could see that the internship played a very big role in the success of the company’s summer and that I was going to be a valuable part of the process.

At the end of that first day, I got home and called my best friend to tell her all about how my day went. She was definitely excited for me, but after chatting with her for a bit she said something that caught me off guard, “If you’re an ad major, why are you doing a graphic design internship?” In my head, I thought, “Well I needed an internship and I thought this one somewhat related to my major.” I knew that answer wasn’t good enough though, and if the internship was going to help me I needed to figure out what exactly I wanted to get out of it. That’s when I started thinking through how my internship could help me to succeed later. Throughout the summer, I kept those things in mind and accomplished everything that I set out to do.

Before starting your internship this summer, think about how your internship will further your career goals.

Some questions to ask yourself are:

  • What about this internship is exciting to me?
  • How do I need to push myself in order to succeed at this internship?
  • What do I hope to gain from this internship?
    • Relationships/networking?
    • Future employment at the company?

If you are able to keep those questions in mind and work toward your answers to those questions, then you will come out of your internship with much more than just something to put on your resume. You’ll come out with a set of skills that you wouldn’t necessarily be able to learn in the classroom. You will be able to apply these skills in your next job and they will help you to stand out.

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