Career Strategy Fellowships Study Abroad Summer Session SEARCH FELLOWSHIPS

Identify Goals

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Step One: Goals

Your proposed project is the core of your fellowship application. The first step in planning a strong fellowship application is to identify your short-term or long-term personal and academic goals. Identifying your goals will help you determine the kind of project you want to pursue.

To identify your goals, be sure to ask yourself the right questions.


What do I need to accomplish?

What do I need/want to accomplish over the coming semester/ over the coming year/ before I graduate?

  • Finish a language requirement?
  • Experience a specific culture/region?
  • Develop a specific skill or skill set?
  • Explore an industry/line of work to inform my future career plans?

What type of experience do I want?

What type of experience would I find most valuable and productive?

  • Academically focused (research, study) or practical (internship, project)?
  • Structured (study abroad program, Yale-organized internship) or unstructured (research, independent project)?

What makes sense for me?

While thinking about this, be honest with yourself about what you are ready for and what your work style is:

  • Are you a self-starter or do you find that you perform better if expectations are clearly defined for you?
  • Are you happy to be in your own company and can confidently forge your own way in a new place or would you prefer to have a "home base" with an established community of fellow learners or colleagues?
  • Is this your first time undertaking a self-directed experience abroad or in a new part of the USA, or have you traveled extensively before and feel ready to undertake a new challenge? 

Tip: It is helpful to think about all of the above questions within the broader context of your time here at Yale, so that you can set yourself short-term and long-term goals and manage your time accordingly. For example, it may be that you do not yet feel ready to undertake self-directed field research in a new country but undertaking a structured program of study in that country may set you on the right path to return in the future to fulfill that long-term goal.