When taking on an internship, what is your end goal? Chances are, it is probably to gain experience, build connections for the future and increase your chances of finding a full-time role in the future.
These are common expectations, as having a vast network of relationships allows you to have more opportunities later on down the line. Nowadays, it’s often more challenging to have workplace interaction opportunities, particularly in a post-covid world where many things have moved online and hybrid/remote working means you may not see your colleagues as frequently. Due to this, it’s more important than ever that you take the opportunity to foster a professional network whilst in your internship and leverage it for your future career success.
So, what can you do to stay connected to your colleagues and build this network, even after your internship? The team here at Connect by Nova have outlined four ways you can ensure you are making the connection between your internship and long-lasting relationships.
1. Reach Out
If you’re interested in pursuing a full-time position with the company after your internship ends, it’s a good idea to chat with your manager. It’s best to start this conversation while you’re still in your current role, so you’ll stay top of mind. But, if the timing doesn’t work out, don’t be afraid to reach out later on.
Instead of waiting for someone else to contact you, take the initiative and be proactive! Just keep in mind that the person you’re talking to might be busy, so it’s important to follow up. Waiting too long might mean you get overlooked, so it’s always better to act sooner rather than later.
2. Respect Boundaries
While, at times, it is good to get to know your colleagues by being friendly with them, it is good to still get into polite habits when talking to them, especially if you are talking to a senior staff member.
It’s necessary to maintain a good work ethic and etiquette in a work environment to maintain professionality. If you are wondering what the basics are when it comes to work ethics and etiquette, not to worry, we host a training on the very topic! Check out our training schedule to learn when we’ll be hosting the next one!
3. Connect with Mentors
Did you know that people with mentors are five times more likely to get promoted? As well as this, mentors are a reliable source of support, feedback and career advice. You should definitely take advantage of the opportunity to work directly under a professional. It is an invaluable learning resource.
4. Build a Community
Do you see any possible like-minded people to grow closer to? Or are you paired with any other interns? Naturally, you try to bond with individuals in a similar situation or people you think you could get along with through similar interests or work placement. This creates a great basis on which to get to know people better.
Lots of introverted or shy people may find it hard to communicate with others, but if you push yourself and take the initiative, it will be worth it in the end. Many people may feel it is easier said than done, as they might fear that messaging someone or asking for help may appear needy. Most of the time, this is just overthinking the situation, but on the off chance you do come off this way, it will have been better to try and fail rather than not try at all.
“You can only grow if you’re willing to feel awkward and uncomfortable when you try something new.” —Brian Tracy