Welcome back, everyone! We hope that you enjoyed the start of the holiday weekend. If you’re working today, we wish you a safe and FUN Fourth of July celebration tomorrow. If you have today (or even the whole week!) off, then we hope you enjoy some serious R&R time that is well deserved and placed at the perfect middle-of-summer moment.
Today, we are focusing on a topic that could be easily overlooked as a result of crunched time … intern relationships! While internships often only last between 9 and 12 weeks, there is still ample time to grow your network and build professional relationships to last throughout your entire career. So, keep reading to find out how to derive the most value out of these experiences HERE!
Building Intern Relationships…
Establishing Opportunities to Connect:
- Create ‘Teams’ chats (or Slack, Zoom, etc.): The first step is becoming vulnerable and reaching out to others! Whether this means tracking down a cell number, emailing another coworker, chatting with peers from an online platform like Microsoft Teams, or wherever you can connect… use it! Odds are if you’re struggling to connect with others, so are they, and we know that tackling an internship or other work-life challenges with buddies is better than navigating alone. So, remind yourself that even though you might feel a bit nervous or uncomfortable, the benefit of putting yourself out there will far outweigh that “cost.” Always display an excited tone and a bit of an introduction about yourself to pass the stranger barrier (name, hometown, year, major, etc.)! Being the ‘leader’ and creating chats in these types of environments not only benefits you in the sense of building connections but also establishes your leadership skills to a broader audience.
- Coordinate after-work events like volunteering or happy hours: In the same sense of leadership, we encourage you to pave the way and coordinate the first post-work event amongst your peers. Whether this looks like a volunteering opportunity, happy hour, comedy show, dinner, concert, art class, or any other type of activity, getting together outside of the four walls of the office is the perfect first step toward building lasting friendships.
- Schedule recurring coffee chats or lunches in the office: On the other hand, it’s equally valuable to solidify time for you and your intern peers to connect while working. Something that helped our group immensely was to coordinate recurring coffee chats, lunches at the cafeteria, and meetings that were scheduled into our days. It’s super easy to intend to make a plan and have it fall to the back burner as a result of busy, and differing, schedules. So, get ahead of this by sending an invite and nailing down a true plan to get together! Making an agenda for the first few connects to ensure there’s no ‘awkward silence’ is also an easy way to guarantee a successful, enjoyable meeting.
- Take advantage of ERGs! Almost all companies have developed meaningful employee resource groups (ERGs) specifically for your benefit. Reach out to your fellow peers and encourage involvement at a program level. As you already share a piece of identity through involvement, creating these connections will prove easier than any other. In today’s age, most organizations even have online profiles on groups like Facebook or Yammer, so we encourage you to start a master post and make some connections today.
- Pro tip: There are often ‘Young Professional’ types of groups specifically intended to help guide entry-level professionals through the first few years of their career. Keep an eye out for this type of group as it’s the perfect fit for interns!
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