Our student blogger Hennika tells us how to make contacts and get the most out of an internship or work experience
If you are currently an intern, or have taken up some work experience this summer, is it important to get as much out of it as possible. We show you how to meet new people at work, and these tips could pave the way for jobs in the future!
Don’t eat lunch alone
You may feel shy and not want to eat with other people, but it’s a good way to build relationships with colleagues. You might find you have shared interests, which could lead to a new friendship, or that you’re kept in mind for future vacancies. The same goes for after-work drinks, even if you just go for one and leave!
This is another good opportunity to bond with co-workers, but also to network with people from other companies. Take people’s business cards, find out about the organisation and ask about openings.
You’d be surprised to see just how much further along you can get in life when people like you. First impressions are lasting impressions, so make sure people remember you for the right reasons. Offer to make the tea, get things done on time, and ask others for things politely. Think of everyone you talk to or meet as a potential contact, you could land yourself a job with them.
Maintain your network
Make sure you keep in contact with all your colleagues/friends at your work place; you want to be considered for internal job vacancies. The relationship can work both ways, it will be even more beneficial to the company when you bring your own contacts with you.
It’s better to be on the smart side than too casual. If people wear shoes and not trainers, make sure you do the same. Invest in a suit if necessary. The dress code is there for a reason and will be a reflection of the company’s values.
It goes without saying, but complete all of your tasks on time and as best you can. If you’re bored then ask for more work to do, and use your initiative where allowed. If you can’t finish something in the time frame given then be honest, rather than lying to try and please your manager. Remember that you are trying to put yourself on their radar for the future, so do your best rather than just sticking it out until the end.
Expand your focus
If possible, try spending a day in a different department. You might find that you prefer it! Think of it as maximising your time in the position, and adding more skills to your CV.