Monday, December 24, 2007

Reliving My Hockey Internship

Last night was by far the best night of my winter vacation! I relived my favorite internship from a few years ago--not in the sense that I dreamt about it. I actually had a chance to be an intern again! Two summers ago I had the privilege of working for the Tampa Bay Lightning in the marketing and public relations departments. I have not mentioned it before, but hockey is my passion. Working for a professional team was a dream come true: work was more like play. My days were filled with projects like compiling the statistics section of the media guide and playing cubicle floor hockey. Since my internship, I have made it a point to keep in touch with two of the advisors for whom I worked. When I am home from college, I visit and help out with public relations tasks on game days.

I was reminded of the importance of networking in the press box last night. By building and maintaining relationships with my advisors, They have offered me an open invitation to work for the team when I am home. Additionally, I have been able to meet other contacts. For example, my advisor introduced me to the director of broadcasting for the team. Although he and I are interested in different industries, this individual is connected to local and national media contacts who are in my field. By conversing with him and establishing myself as a public relations professional-in-training, I linked myself to his broader group of contacts. It is so important to establish positive relationships because the business world is small. It may be hard to fathom, but contacts (especially those who you never thought would come in handy) can help you get another internship or job based on their circle of friends and experience. Maintaining your relationships is a small, easy task that you can do to help yourself succeed in the business world.

This time of year is perfect for reconnecting with an old boss. Send him or her a short e-mail with holiday wishes and current information about school, internships and achievements. It would be nice to ask him or her about the company too. It is better to create lasting relationships that will lead to future internship and business opportunities than to limit yourself. Renowned American comedian and actor Milton Berle said it best, "If opportunity doesn't knock, build a door."


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