June. Summer activities as approaching as are summer internships. So it’s a good time to remind you that your internal networks are as essential to your career success as a vibrant, external network. As the PGA’s Sandy Cross shares in #BYDN:
I think many people view networking one-dimensionally and think only about those outside of their organization or field. So many of my external relationships in the golf and sports industry started through an internal relationship. I found my colleagues to be more than willing to extend access to their network to me, and in turn I have done the same for them. This approach makes the work environment much more collaborative and fun, and the work product even better.
Better work product and a better work environment? Do you need any more reasons to focus on building an “internal” network?
For interns, some additional advice from my network on how to powerfully network your internship:
- Don’t go straight for the ‘big fish.’ Yes I know you want to meet the speaker or the partner at the firm but so does everyone else. There are other great people in the room. Meet them first. — Irene Ryabaya, Co-Founder of Monarq Incubator @IreneRyab @SocialMonarq
- Protect your identity. Memories are long. Your online footprint is forever. Be 18 but remember you won’t always be. — Jill Van Beke, Director of Entrepreneurship & Innovation at Launch Tennessee @jvanbeke
- Instantly connect with new contacts on LinkedIn — it’s the best way to keep track of where people move in their careers, which generates triggers for when you can be useful to them and they can be useful for you. — Jessica Sobhraj, CEO at Cosynd @JessicaSobhraj
- Use your resources. Follow up with everyone you meet. Ask for help. As you build these relationships, people will think more and more about you when opportunities come up. — Cassidy Williams, Senior software engineer at L4 Digital @cassidoo
- Introduce yourself when you meet someone new. Show up early and stay late. Ask questions. Work hard. — Joanne Tombrakos, Founder at One Woman’s Eye Consulting and Training @joannetombrakos
- Do not hunt for a permanent job the minute you start your internship! Rather share your passion for the work opportunity with your network. Win new colleagues over with your enthusiasm for the projects and commitment to delivering great service/work product. — Claudia Koerbler, Communication Specialist, United Nations @claudia_koerbler
- Be yourself! Ask great questions that require more than a yes/no answer. Offer to help your manager or teammates learn a new technology that you’re more familiar with. I’ve learned as much from my interns, as I hope they received from me. — Danielle Cohn, Executive Director, Entrepreneurial Engagement, Comcast NBCUniversal @daniellecohn
- When you are 18 and interning, never underestimate any encounter — albeit on an airplane, in the boardroom, elevator or the ladies room. — Melissa Gonzalez, Founder, The Lionesque Group @MelsStyles
- Carry out the duties of your internship to the best of your abilities. Be observant and ask questions. Approach the internship as if it were a “real job”. There’s valuable experience and connections to be had as an intern. Take it seriously. — Van Adams, Founder VanAdams Sports Group @VanAdamsSports