I feel like I write A LOT about networking on this blog. But it’s with good reason – Networking is a very important component of most successful internship searches.
First, let me recap what networking is: Developing mutually beneficial relationships for the exchange of information and resources. Key here is “mutually beneficial.” Networking is about building quality relationships with people, not just amassing numbers. And networking is not just about you – it’s what people can do for you and what you can do for others.
Second, you already have a network, whether you know it or not. Family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, connections through student or professional organizations, and even alumni are all within your networking realm. Do your family members (beyond parents) know that you’re looking for an internship? NO? How can they possibly help you or how can they utilize the power of their networks if they’re clueless about your search? They can’t.
Finally, there is an excellent strategy for developing new networking contacts: Informational Interviewing. An informational interview is one YOU conduct with a professional who does a job you think you might want someday. Check out our guide to informational interviewing for more details.
I have written so much about networking over the last couple of years, so check out these past posts for more details on different elements in the process:
- The Intern’s Guide to Networking: Starting the Conversation
- Want to Get Lucky? Try Networking
- The Time to Start Networking Is Now
- Use Twitter for Your Internship Search
Photo by buddawiggi
Question of the Week:
What is your best networking tip for aspiring interns?