Monday, December 24, 2007

Keeping In Touch Could Jumpstart Your Career

In response to Stephanie’s post, I cannot stress how important it is
to keep relationships going even after your internship is over.
Throughout an internship you meet so many people who have great
connections. These connections can open up many doors in your
future. For Stephanie, keeping in touch with her bosses and fellow co-
workers allows her the opportunity to still involve herself with her
favorite team. Because of her ability to maintain these rapports,
she is always welcome and valued by the Lightning team.

Although I do not keep in touch with any of my bosses from my first
internship, I have kept in touch with my fellow interns. I bonded with two of my co-interns from a fashion and beauty public relations and advertising firm in New York City.
Since my internship ended, the thought that one day they would help me
with my career never entered my mind.

The girls with whom I worked with were three years older than me. I was an intern working for the first time and they were trying to balance gaining experience before heading out into the real world and looking for jobs. I looked up to them for advice. Throughout my internship our friendship grew. We promised to stay in touch after the internship ended; but, everyone knows that is easier said than done. Although we did not communicate often, our friendship continued. We mostly kept in touch by using Facebook, meaning random wall posts and messages.

A few months ago when I was settling back into school, I received a phone
call from one of the girls. She updated me on her life, told me
about her new job and how much she was enjoying it. The reason she
called, though, was to see if I was interested in working with her! She
said that her company was looking to hire and she thought that I would be
perfect for the job!

Making lasting impressions on the people you work with will pay off, even if it’s hard to imagine during your internship. My friend could have called anyone she knew (like someone she was closer with), but instead she called me. Networking and maintaining relationships are keys to your success. Like Stephanie said, take that extra step right now and email the people who you once worked with. Wishing them a happy holiday is the perfect icebreaker, even if it has been a while!

Now it’s time for me to go write some emails!


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."