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How to Network During Your Internship

Tue, Feb 14, 2012

Internship Information

So you’ve landed the perfect internship, the ideal spot to push you up the ladder to success once you’ve left your student days behind and are fully ready and committed to the business world. But success doesn’t just happen … you have to make it happen. One of the reasons that many interns fail during their time with their company or firm is because, though they may be hard workers, they lack the requisite social skills (or simply haven’t learned them yet) that will allow them to network successfully, forging connections and building bridges that could lead to fantastic opportunities in the future. Here are a few tips that will help you to build a stronger network during your internship.

Proactive. It’s all on you: since most people probably aren’t going to just approach you, it’s up to you to act with forward motion and introduce yourself to people you don’t know. This might be at the office, at an event or conference, or even at an after hours mixer. This isn’t an opportunity to talk endlessly about yourself. If you show interest in other people, they will tend to have a more favorable impression of you later. Do this early on in your internship. Start by talking to the junior people in your office, as they can give you the scoop about the place where you work and maybe some hints about the more senior people you will meet later on.

Stay cool. It’s fine to talk tech with people, but don’t overdo it. You don’t want people to think you’re annoying. If you’ve investigated the top online masters in IT programs in the country so you can earn your masters in IT, don’t bore people with all the nauseating details. Be a genuine person – the real you, even if you’re nervous!

Don’t be afraid to ask for advice. You probably don’t have an exact plan for what will happen to you after your internship, and asking for advice or for ideas from your colleagues at work will help you nurture relationships with them – after all, isn’t it flattering when someone thinks you hold all the answers? – as well as offer you valuable tips for your future.

Meet a variety of people. Try to branch out and talk to as many people as you can, especially if your job is divided into “teams.” Even though there might not be a real job with your team in the future, someone from another team may be able to off you a spot, and the only way to allow that to happen is to actually talk to people!

Stay in touch. Speaking of nurturing those relationships: keep in touch with the people you made friends with or contacted during your internship, especially your boss! That way they’ll continue to remember you, and may think of you when a golden opportunity presents itself.

It’s a small world, and you’ll come to realize this after you finish your internship. Word will get out about you inevitably – make sure it’s the right word that will land you the perfect job for you!

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