Career Services

Drop Shadow

Setting Internship Objectives

Consider two factors as you set the objectives for your internship:

  • What is your basic goal for taking on the internship?
  • What needs to happen during the internship for you to know that you have fulfilled your basic goal?

Your basic goal is a general ambition for completing an internship. For example, you might seek to learn more about a career field, a specific organization or an occupation. Keep the goal simple (clearly stated) and manageable (something that can be achieved within the timeframe of your internship).

With your basic goal in place, think about what needs to happen during the internship in order to fulfill this goal. What sorts of work, people, projects, and settings do you need to experience to feel that you have achieved your basic goal? For each need that you cite, develop a corresponding objective. If you seek to learn about a career field such as marketing or graphic arts, a corresponding objective might read like one of the following statements:

  • To identify the primary skills that are used in marketing.
  • To clarify the primary responsibilities of graphic artists.
  • To assess the educational backgrounds of marketing professionals who work for bio-tech firms.

As you go through your internship, consider keeping a journal and documenting what insights you gain regarding your objectives. Keep in mind that your objectives may change as your internship continues. The internship journal can provide a useful record for completing course assignments if you are taking the internship for academic credit. The internship journal can also be useful as you prepare for employment or graduate school interviews. By reviewing the journal, you can recall insights and experiences that will help you strengthen your candidacy.