Building a professional network is very important for developing your career, and internships can help provide an excellent opportunity to start working on it. We will be discussing the importance of networking during an internship and ways to make networking at an internship more effective for you.
Are networks important for an intern?
Networking is essential for an internship as it can help you gain exposure to industry professionals, learn about job opportunities, and develop new professional skills. You can build your professional network by keeping in touch with your former colleagues and mentors, attending networking events, and sharing content related to your career choice on social media. Another article by internships.com suggests that networking can help you gain valuable insight into the industry, build connections, and secure a job after graduation.
Ways to make networking at an internship:
Be friendly and approachable
Building relationships starts with being approachable and showing interest in others.
Ask for more responsibility
Taking on more responsibilities demonstrates your willingness to learn and grow. This will show that youre ready to take more tasks and that you are will to help when required.
Find a mentor
Having a mentor that can provide guidance, support, and valuable industry insights is a great way to make your professional network strong. You can start by someone who you look up to in your office to be your mentor.
Attend company events
Attending events can help you meet new people and learn more about the company culture. This is also a really great way for you to build a really good professional relationship with your colleagues and helps you bond with them.
Learning new skills can make you more valuable to the company and it helps you to increase your chances of making a good impression. It is also a good way to develop yourself professionally.
How to use an internship to professionally network:
Before starting your internship, set clear goals that align with your career path. Remember to always set SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound) that works for you the best. Here are some examples of SMART goals you can set for your internship:
- Specific: I want to improve my writing skills during my internship.
- Measurable: I will aim to produce at least one well-written article each week.
- Achievable: I will work with my supervisor to identify areas for improvement and seek feedback on my writing.
- Relevant: Improving my writing skills is directly related to my career goal of becoming a journalist.
- Time-bound: I will achieve this goal by the end of my internship.
Attend industry events
Attending industry events is another way for you to meet like-minded professionals and to be in loop about any new job opportunities. Attending industry events can help you expand your professional network and keep up with the latest trends and employment opportunities in your field. These networking events provide an opportunity to meet like-minded professionals, learn about industry developments, and share ideas with peers. Attending such events allows you to gain insights into current industry practices, expand your knowledge and expertise, and make important connections with people who have similar career goals. Furthermore, attending these events can help you find new job opportunities, meet recruiters, and receive insight into the hiring processes of various companies. Attending industry events broadens your horizons while also increasing your possibilities of achieving your job objectives.
Connect with colleagues and mentors
Building relationships with your colleagues and mentors can help you gain industry insights and even learn about new job opportunities. This will also come in very handy when you might need someone to be your professional reference. Connecting with coworkers and teachers during your internship is important not only for developing professional relationships, but also for gaining useful insights into the field in which you are working. Introduce yourself to your colleagues and ask them about their experiences and job paths. This can assist you in gaining a better understanding of the industry and possibly opening doors to new possibilities. Furthermore, developing a rapport with your mentor can provide you with invaluable advice and support. They can advise you on how to negotiate the workplace, provide feedback on your work, and assist you in developing skills that will serve you well throughout your career. Finally, developing relationships with colleagues and mentors can assist you in obtaining professional references for future job possibilities. Maintaining these connections after your internship can help you advance in your career in the long run. So, during your internship, make the most of the important relationships you can establish by connecting with your colleagues and mentors.
Be active on social media
Sharing appropriate content and connecting with professionals in your field on social media platforms such as LinkedIn will help you open up doors to many new opportunities. When using social media for business, make sure your material and interactions are appropriate and professional. Engage with others by commenting on their posts and sharing pertinent content, and don't be afraid to ask for advice or an informational interview from professionals in your industry.
Internships provide a great amount of opportunity for you to build your own professional network. It will help you kickstart your career and make the process hassle free. So make sure you get the most out of your internship and build a professional network that will help you to pave your professional career.