Networking Strategies for College Interns
Developing and maintaining networks are important accomplishments for college interns. The process of job-hunting has transformed in the past years through the use of online resources. This is useful, but keep in mind that you need to build networks from a personal perspective so that you can have a better idea of how the process in the industry works and what kind of people you are likely to meet from a professional level. Let’s assume that you have already found a place where you can start your internship, here are some networking strategies college interns can use to maximize your experience.
The first step towards successful network building is to be prepared and carry a right mindset throughout the internship process. It does not matter if you are an achiever at your local school community of if you have past job experiences. Your goal now is to value the people you encounter at work and to contribute something to the business process. Students usually do not know where to start or how to start so it is best to ask questions or get ideas from your co-workers or immediate superior. At the same time, you need to start building confidence because this is critical for your professional growth.
Take care of your reputation and image
The very first expectation that students have in mind when entering internship is that it is an “escape” from the typical college life. This is not true because the image and reputation you build will definitely have a lasting effect on your employers. Acting professionally may be difficult at first but you will eventually get used to it as soon as you learn the ropes of internship. By having a good image in front of your supervisor, you are likely to be on the top of their list when it comes to hiring applicants. The good record track, positive attitude and right mindset you build during your college days are what makes internship networking very valuable.
Get involved in the community
Whether you are at school or internship site, you need to get involved with what is happening around your local community. For example, you can get involved in student organizations because some of these have links with national organizations. This is the best place for students to start building networks, but you need to inform your professors or academic advisors first so they can give you suggestions on how to establish connections outside.
You can also attend different career events, workshops, trainings and seminars as long as these are all associated with your field of interest. Here, you can meet a lot of people and develop professional contacts which you can use for future references.