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Professional Confessional

A blog providing tips and resources for life after college

TIP: Set SMART Goals to Chart your Course

Before you embark on your internship experience, you should set some SMART goals for specific knowledge, skills, and abilities you would like to acquire during the experience. Start with the end in mind…You need to know where you want to go before you can start the journey.  Setting goals helps you stay focused on what you want to accomplish.  What are SMART goals?

Specific – Spell out exactly what you want to accomplish.

Measurable – Helps you determine if you achieved it or not.  Quantify it.

Achievable – Set possible and attainable objectives.

Relevant – Set goals with the “big picture” in mind and have a clear purpose.

Timely – Set a deadline.  When do you want to accomplish the goal?

Here are a few questions to consider before developing your SMART goals:  What do you want to accomplish by the completion of your internship?  When you look back at the end of the summer, what do you want to be able to say that you have done or learned?  Are there new skills you would like to develop, such as giving public presentations or business writing? Is there something about this particular industry that you would like to know?

Before you start your internship, consider creating 2-3 SMART goals.  Focus on three key areas such as networking – the people you want to meet, skills – the skills you want to develop, and community – how you will get involved in the community where you will be living (such as through a service opportunity).  Involvement in the community is a great way to expand reach for meeting individuals outside of your inner-circle.  Most importantly, you’re continuing the spirit of Pro Humanitate.

Before you leave for your internship, get started using this easy worksheet.  Set the path you want to accomplish by charting your own course with SMART goals.  And, when you meet with your supervisor share these goals with him/her so that he can help you to develop a plan for achieving them.

Category: Professional Development

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