3 Keys to Networking at Your Internship

Brown_arrow_21 Posted by Nathan Parcells on
Jun. 25, 2012

133957015_2b744e0fcd“You love oreos dipped in peanut butter, too!? No way!” Don’t you love finding common interests with the people around you? It shrinks your world and gives you a burst of excitement. Not only are these magic moments exciting, but they can lead to helping you master your summer internship. Learning the art of networking starts by building relationships within your own company with the people working around you.

1. Find their passion point

The only way you’re going to be able to know what interests your co-workers is to ask them questions. Start by asking them simple questions about their favorite books or movies or hobbies. Some people are inspired by sports, some by art, some by current events. Find their passion point and get them talking. This will make them enjoy talking with you and will lead to forming connections between the two of you.

2. Appreciate their work

Learn how the work your co-worker does helps you to do your job.  If they don’t work in the same branch as you, set up a brief visit to their office to get a fuller picture of what their job is. Learn what drives them in their work. How did they arrive at this position? What inspired them to go into the field they’re in? Compliment them on a specific aspect of their work that impresses you. Though everyone may not show it, it’s true that people love a compliment as much as they love one of mom’s warm cookies.

4468838996_6de1356b0a3. Hang out “off the field”

Tim Tebow said: “When you have better chemistry off the field, it’s going to correlate to how you play on the field.” When you hang out with your co-workers outside the office, you’re going to work better together throughout the week. Organize a group event for all the employees to go to a movie or game or concert together. Everyone will appreciate that you brought the company together to have a good time. These memorable moments you share will maintain your regard for each other, even during stressful times in the office.

Why it’s important to make connections at your summer internship:

1. When you cry for help, you’ll get an answer.

Naturally, different members of your work team have different skills. If you’ve already established a positive relationship with others, they’re going to be much more eager to help you.

2. You work better when you’re having fun. 

Studies prove that people who enjoy their work are more productive, more creative, and better at making important decisions. They key to enjoying your summer internship is forming relationships with the fun people working with you.

3. It could serve you in the future.

When you’re looking for a job after college, one of your co-workers could know about an open position you wouldn’t have found without their help. Countless people have found jobs in ways they never would have imagined just by networking with a purpose.

Goals for This Week:

1. Introduce yourself to 3 people in your company who you haven’t met yet.
2. Extend the conversation past introductions and find the common interests you both share.
3. Start planning a fun get-together with your co-workers.

***This is an installment from the series, Mastering Summer Internships. These articles will show how to make the most of your summer internship experience and be a rockstar intern in your company. Click here or enter your email below to receive weekly updates with the latest installments of Mastering Summer Internships.

Photo Credit 1: _ambrown via Flickr

Photo Credit 2: Prayitno via Flickr

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