We all know why we should be networking with our bosses and coworkers from a summer internship—not only are they great resources, but they often have extensive networks of their own. These are networks you’ll want to take advantage of come graduation when you’re looking for full-time entry-level jobs.
But you also should be networking (read: making friends) with other interns, and here’s why.
They have networks of their own.
You know how much your network has grown this summer, and if you really look at your LinkedIn connections, your reach isn’t too shabby (you are adding your coworkers on LinkedIn, right?). Those 2nd level contacts are starting to look pretty promising. Well, the other interns you’ve met have also been growing their connections, and who knows when you’ll need an introduction from one of your summer pals? And though there is speculation about whether or not LinkedIn endorsements have any value, it never hurts to have somebody who can verify that you can do exactly what your profile says you can do. And if they’re from another company, all the better for you.
They know where the parties are.
Like I said, they have their own networks, and that does include more than just professional acquaintances. They know about the latest hackathon, the coolest meet-and-greets, and that carnival that Facebook just had. Especially if you’re new in town and are spending your nights and weekends home with your aunt (as a completely hypothetical example), it never hurts to know people who know people, which gives you the chance to know more people!
You may work with them in the future.
Depending on what industry you’re interning in this summer, it’s not unlikely that you’ll run into these people again, and when you do, it really helps if you already have a rapport built up. Whether you end up working an entry-level job for the same company or do business together, being friends with other interns is very valuable.
So when the end of your internship rolls around and you head back to your normal life of cramming for tests and dragging yourself to class, make sure you’re following up with more than just your boss.