Interns’ Guide To Networking In The Workplace

Avatar photoadmin July 10, 2023 No Comments

Networking is a lifelong process, but you can learn how to use your first internship to start making connections. Those early contacts will be an essential source for job leads and referrals. 

Getting a head start on networking increases your chances of success in the modern workplace. You have probably heard statistics about workers changing jobs and careers more frequently in recent years. A study by LinkedIn reported that Millennials jump jobs four times in their first decade out of college and often switch into entirely different industries. 

Start now to build up resources for the transitions ahead, and expand your options so you can pursue your dream job instead of settling for something less. Take a look at these first steps in networking for interns and see how you can apply these in your workspace. 

Face-to-Face Networking for Interns 

Communicating online is efficient, but face time allows you to deepen your relationships. Stand out from the pack by practicing your conversation skills and meeting with others in person.

  1. Remember names: Start with the basics by greeting your coworkers by name and paying attention to their projects and preferences. They will be impressed by your consideration and attention to detail. 
  1. Express interest: Show enthusiasm by pitching around the office and asking questions. For example, find out what your colleagues love about their job or what they are trying to accomplish. Give ideas of how they can advance their goals and stay up to date with their progress. Having someone provide career support for you can begin with you rooting for them first. 
  1. Attend events: Sign up for workshops and parties that may be included in your internship, primarily if you work with a large employer. Check out industry publications for similar local events to go to. 
  1. Organize activities: Take the lead in organizing a softball league or holiday food drive. Remember to take the time to enjoy meeting others outside of your department. It will show that you are open to new people and opportunities.
  1. Share your goals: When appropriate, ask for assistance or welcome offers from colleagues who want to know about your career plans. The more specific you are about your needs, the easier it is for others to share their resources. Likewise, you can also do the same for others to show your support of colleagues.
  1. Understand your contribution: Although you may be new on the job, you are precious. Senior employees will find a sense of gratification in lending you a hand. Do not be afraid to ask for help from others as a newbie.

Online Networking for Interns 

Of course, technology also counts. You can quickly meet more players in your industry and access extensive information through online networks. 

  1. Manage your image: Always take charge of your online reputation. Clean up any embarrassing search results that you may not be aware of. Another way to keep a clean image is to create a simple website or invest in a domain. 
  1. Update your LinkedIn profile: LinkedIn is the largest social network for working professionals. In fact, it is the fastest growing among new graduates. When others search for you, make sure they see your most recent experience and skills. Additionally, create visual appeal on your profile with work samples, videos, or projects. 
  1. Collect endorsements and recommendations: Colleagues who rave about you and your work can let others know by giving you a public stamp of approval. In other words, seek positive advice from your internship manager and anyone who knows your job well, including other interns. Be ready to reciprocate or thank them by taking them out for coffee. 
  1. Join conversations: Participate in forums and discussions of professional issues on social media or comment sections of publications. If your knowledge is limited, you can still ask questions or let others know you agree with their position or admire their work.
  1. Showcase your achievements: Make it easy for employers to see your work samples. For instance, create a digital portfolio and include a link when you network online.

Whether you are hoping your summer internship will end with a permanent offer or looking for glowing recommendations that will help you move on, networking is a must. Either way, have fun and build your confidence while developing mutually beneficial relationships. 

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