I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: networking is a top strategy in the search for an internship. When you consider that surveys have found that networking was the key to job search success for approximately half to three-fourths of employees, it’s probably a good idea to do it.
In college, you have an extensive array of potential networking contacts right in front of you: professors, staff, and other students. Think about all of the potential connections you could make with over 700 professors and other professional staff plus 10,700 students!
Even beyond who is right in front of you are all of the people who have been here before you – alumni. There are more than 70,000 UW-W alumni and many of them stay connected to UW-W through Facebook and LinkedIn.
I would do the math to summarize what this all means, but I’m terrible at math. Needless to say, if you are looking to start building your network in order to find an internship opportunity, college is the place to do it.
Get to know your professors – talk to them, build relationships with them. Many professors have connections with professionals in the field, and it’s those second-tier contacts (friends of friends) who could be the keys to opportunities.
What about university staff? I met with a student earlier this week to talk about opportunities in a specific field. I referred her to a potential contact and I also reached out to this person. Lo and behold, it just so happens that the contact’s office has hosted an intern, a student who will be finishing at the end of the semester. This opened the possiblity for another student to step into that internship role for the spring semester. Voila! Internship found.
Now, it’s not always this easy. There is a fair amount of luck involved in the process. However, you never know when the perfect opportunity might arise and who in your network knows about it.
Photo by intersectionconsulting
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