Use Your Internship to Network for Your Career
One of the most sought after experiences for many college students is to partake in an internship applicable to their studies. An internship can be extremely valuable, and an important aspect of an internship position is the significant opportunity to network with professionals already working in a particular field (…not to mention their field of interest!).
With such a valuable opportunity afforded, college students must take full advantage of their networking prospects. Read our internship networking checklist to make sure you are doing all that you can to make your internship most worthwhile for your future.
Below were our amazing summer interns from 2016:
Do Your Homework.
There is no point in trying to make connections with professionals in your desired field if you have nothing relevant to say to them. Make sure to research as much as possible about the company for which you will intern. Research the history of the company, the company’s purpose, and with whom they do business. It is also important to research general information about the field you are in itself, such as current events that affect the industry and market trends. This way, when you have the opportunity to converse with your superiors, you will already have a basic understanding of what they do and why (even sounds impressive right?).
Let People Know You are There to Work.
One of the best ways to make a good impression with executives is to be aware of the way the company functions and always to be mindful to investigate ways to help things flow. Once you begin to understand your superiors’ needs, be proactive in helping them accomplish their day to day tasks. For example, if you notice the staff writers at your company usually get coffee around 11 am, and you are not doing anything pressing, offer to get it for them. Taking initiative in a common sense way to relieve the minor strains of your superiors will make you memorable as a result.
Don’t Hang Out with Only Your Peers.
During free time or while working on different tasks, it can be very tempting to spend time solely with your peers, such as fellow interns or lower level employees. Although there is a good chance that the majority of your work time will be spent with other interns, it can be detrimental to gravitate toward them regularly. Strike up conversations with your superiors as often (but when appropriate) as you can. Take a different route to the mailroom, or come back from lunch earlier. Give yourself the opportunity to make real connections with the important professionals in your work environment.
Use Social Media to Your Advantage.
Social media is now commonplace in the office, and students today are perfectly prepared to take advantage of the opportunity to use these programs professionally. Remember not to approach co-workers in the same way as your Facebook friends; make sure you have an appropriate relationship in place with a superior before pursuing a connection online. It is also advantageous to look into your superior’s preferred means of communication. How you can find out: visit the company website to see what they have listed as their contact information, and research whether or not they have a LinkedIn profile. Once your relationship is established, make contact via their preferred way.
Legacy MedSeach Blog contributing writer Kate Willson is a regular blogger for collegecrunch.com. She enjoys writing on education, college life, and student life. She welcomes your comments to her email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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