The following is a peak into life as an intern from our guest intern blogger, Courtney.
Internships are different from field to field and from company to company, but one thing will always remain the same: networking is key.
One of the main reasons to even do an internship is to make contacts.
I started my internship at The Augusta Chronicle two weeks ago and already I’ve had the opportunity to sit in on a meeting with the president of parent company Morris Communications, had a conversation with the executive director of the local Red Cross, and shook the hands of the mayor and a senator.
So far I have a small collection of business cards and expect to get many more as the weeks go by.
So why is networking important?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 70% of jobs are found through networking.
I’ll be able to use my network to find a job, get references, find more information on the companies I’m researching and keep up to date with what’s happening in my industry.
But as the title states, “it’s not about who you know. It’s about who knows you.”
It’s not nearly enough to trade business cards with a person and expect them to automatically be in your network. LinkedIn is not real life.
In reality, you have to work at relationships.
Any type of communication can be beneficial to maintaining your network, from monthly lunch dates to annual Christmas cards. You just have to remember to keep in touch. How else do you expect somebody to remember your name from their own stack of business cards when an opportunity arises?
Keep your network in the loop. If you’re looking for a new job, let them know. If you’re thinking of changing industries, tell them. Maybe they can help you start a new collection of contacts.
And don’t forget networking works both ways. Keep an interest in what your contacts are doing and be sure to share the wealth. Keep karma a positive thing.