The UW Sustainability office is piloting an Intern Development Program to help long-term interns gain a more enriching experience while working with the office. The program gives interns and their supervisors a way to better plan the intern experience and make sure the intern's work is helping achieve desired goals.
What is the IDP?
The Intern Development Program was created to provide a framework for advancing your learning and development experiences during your employment with UW. Developing and enhancing job skills will be beneficial to you as you transition from college into your chosen career. Your development will also benefit your department by increasing your skillset.
The Intern Development Program is an optional program available to all hourly paid student interns employed for six months or longer.
Checklist for Developing Your IDP
- Meet briefly with your supervisor to discuss what the IDP is, and brainstorm potential goals.
- Fill out the form electronically and email to your supervisor for review. Goal descriptions can be as long or short as needed to describe your plan.
- Meet with your supervisor to review the details of your IDP. Ask them to electronically add their comments to your IDP, then print and obtain all required signatures. Give the original IDP to your supervisor, and keep a copy for yourself.
- If your goal requires training time, communicate with your supervisor about when you plan to complete the training. If your goal requires funding, work with your supervisor to gain formal departmental approval.
Writing your IDP
As you begin to think about writing your Intern Development Plan try to identify skills that you would like to develop which would be beneficial to you in your current position and your future career.
Setting SMART Goals
Your chance of success will increase when your goals are:
Specific: what exactly do you want to achieve?
Measureable: how will you know when you have completed the goal?
Agreed upon: does your supervisor agree with your goal?
Realistic: do you have the capacity and support to meet this goal?
Timed: when will you begin and when will you finish?
Questions to consider
Below are some questions to ask yourself and consider when filling out the IDP form. You don’t need to specifically answer these questions on the form. Instead, they are intended as suggestions to get you started.
When thinking about your long-term career goal:
- What are you looking for in terms of job satisfaction?
- If you could do anything you want in terms of a career, what would it be?
- What do you want to accomplish in your career?
- What are your areas of greatest strength? Areas of needed improvement?
- What have you done so far?
- What are some of your achievements?
- Looking at the next five years, how do you see your career developing?
- What constraints do you see?
- What resources do you have available to you?
When thinking about your short-term goals and action plans:
- What do you want to do in your internship?
- Are there specific tasks or projects you would like to work on?
- How can this internship help you work toward your long-term goals?
- Who would you like to talk to about career paths?
- Are there additional actions you can take in this internship to strengthen skills?
- What are the steps you can take to accomplish your goal?
- What will make the action plan or internship successful for you?
- Do you feel you need extra training to achieve your goals?