The Good Intern
New Year, New Goals
The First Day
Posted by Michelle Pence - - 2 comments

If you're anything like me, right about now your mind is swirling with ideas for how to improve yourself and your life in the upcoming new year.  After New Years my to-do list is always brimming with resolutions- some of which are new and some that never seem to get done (about that diet...), but there's just something about a whole new year filled with endless possibilities that makes me especially excited and optimistic.

"We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year's Day."
Edith Lovejoy Pierce

I've found that the most effective strategy for coming up with great goals is to be specific, so what could be better than dedicating a few of your New Years resolutions to making yourself a better intern?

Start by having a brainstorming session and write down everything that comes to mind when you think about yourself as an intern and what you'd like to change or do better... you can pick and choose the best ideas later.  Once you have several things written down, select a few things that seem the most important.  It's imperative that once you set your sights on something specific you want to accomplish, that you also come up with several steps for working towards the goal.

Here are some sample internship goals to get your wheels turning:

  • Maintain a persistent positive attitude
    • If you've been doing an internship for a while, it's easy to get dragged into the monotony of some tasks which might make you appear agitated and unhappy.  Even if you think that you can't stand to file papers for another minute, slap a smile on your face and let people see that you're grateful to be there.
  • Polish your resume
    • If your resume is one of those things that you have been meaning to update and perfect, then jump on it this year.  The trek to your campus career center usually isn't as far as it seems, so make an appointment.  You'll be glad you did once you have a professional resume that you can be proud of.
  • Take extra opportunities
    • Ever turned down an opportunity to network with coworkers outside of the office because you were tired or had something else going on?  One extra dinner with your boss and coworkers could mean the different between looking like you're just going through the motions 9am-5pm, and showing that you're really passionate about your internship.
  • Network like a pro
    • Finally get those business cards you've been meaning to have printed made and start working on the art of making small talk.  For some people networking is an acquired skill, and the new year is the perfect opportunity to start practicing every chance you get.
  • Take initiative
    • Want to work on something bigger?  Ask for it!  While you can't neglect your everyday duties, it never hurts to ask for more.  Show your boss that you want to get as much possible out of your internship and let him/her know you're up for the challenge.
  • Connect with a mentor
    • My mentor has proven to be one of the biggest assets in helping me professionally.  If there is someone who you know and admire and that could help you with your career, reach out to them and ask if you can pick their brain.  It may flatter them that you look up to them, and could turn into a positive and valuable relationship.
My advice?  Take advantage of 2011 being a blank slate and actually work towards your resolutions this year!  This year could be your best year yet, but it's all up to you.

2 Responses so far.

  1. Anonymous says:

    You are so pretty!

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