Internships and Networking: Gaining Experiences and Connections to Further Your Career

Melissa Crossman
Melissa Crossman lives in Indianapolis with her two dogs. She enjoys cooking and volunteering in her community.
Melissa Crossman
Melissa Crossman
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groupFor any college student looking to get a leg up in the professional world, a little work experience can go a long way. While it doesn’t supersede the value of a good education, real work experience will increase your industry connections, your skill sets and even your familiarity with your trade-all of which can increase your value as a prospective employee.

Internships are one of the best things students can do to generate future employment opportunities. These positions can be found over the summer or part-time during the school year and give students a chance to gain experience in their desired field. But one overlooked advantage of internships is the opportunities they offer in terms of networking. Professional contacts are always important, and the more you can accumulate-and the earlier in your career-the better off you’ll be in the long run.

Intern with companies that are growing

An internship is a great way to get in the front door with a company, get them familiar with you and put your name in the running for future positions. But your best prospects will be at companies that are growing and plan on adding a number of positions in the near future. An internship can give you an inside track to one of those positions, as well as experiencing working with an organization quickly on the rise.

Make connections early

When you’re completing an internship, don’t be invisible. Introduce yourself to other workers and make yourself a familiar face around the office. Recognition is the most important way you can establish yourself once you’re at your actual work

site, so make sure you’re interacting and developing relationships. When you leave, those relationships could become much-needed networking connections.

Make sure your major adds to your list of qualifications

Your work experience is important, but your degree can also give you a leg up and equip you with valuable skill sets that bolster your employability. A degree in business management is one way you can gain a solid foundation of business acumen while also possessing the skill sets necessary to handle management opportunities if they come up in your future. This type of degree is also applicable to a wide range of professions, giving you more options down the road.

Standing out from the crowd

The odds are pretty good you’re not the only intern in the office. While not everyone may be gunning for the same position as you, the other interns will serve as a measuring stick against which you will be compared. You’ll have a better chance of impressing your bosses if they see things from you that they don’t see in your peers.

Knowing that, try to separate yourself from others however you can. Whether that’s asking for extra work, putting in extra time or making sure you complete your tasks to the utmost efficiency, be aware that your actions will be the primary factor in how you are perceived as a worker.

With a degree in-hand and a bevy of networking connections acquired through various internship stops, new grads can enter the workforce armed with everything they need to find a job and advance their career. It’s important to remember that even after you get a job, your network could continue to benefit you throughout your career. It’s important to manage these contacts and remember that they may be valuable to you in your future 


  1. There is a vicious circle – I can’t find a job because I have no experience, I have no experience because no one wants to hire me… Unfortunately I faced the same problem…
    Evan recently posted..20 Beautiful Wedding WordPress themes 2013My Profile

  2. Twitter:
    Standing out is a tip worth doing.

    It can be a refresher to many companies that are looking for that change.

    Interesting stuff here.
    Samuel Pustea recently posted..Are You Missing These 3 In Your Facebook Marketing Strategy?My Profile

  3. As grad students I can also say that connections are everything.

  4. Hello

    i am totally agree with you article really Internships are one of the best things students can do to create future employment opportunities, really thanks for the sharing me

  5. Twitter:
    Some really good tips for securing your career , coz nowadays networking has evolved as a money revenue for many professionals. For the example Consider blogging. The growth of industry as you all must know is awesome.
    myles recently posted..Killer Ways to Speed Up Slow Running MacbookMy Profile

  6. Twitter:
    Hi Melissa,

    I think that interning can be a great way to gain knowledge and experience before actually whole heartily jumping into a career. That way, you can spend a few months just testing out the waters.
    Justin Musiker recently posted..iPhone Repair In Boca RatonMy Profile

  7. Twitter:
    Great tips, It’s really important to build connections within the company during your internship time. As it helps you to make your place permanent. However Skill is important aspect but if you’re a team player then any organization would love to have you.
    Pankaj recently posted..Online Recharge SoftwareMy Profile

  8. Good tips for making the career strong. Expanding circles and making connections is necessary in all fields for success.
    Rehmat Alam recently posted..Stop Spam Registration / Log-in Guess on Your WordPress BlogMy Profile

  9. great tips for freshly grad like me finding it hard to get hired
    wazz recently posted..Yeah !!! You can workout at home !!!My Profile

  10. Hey Mellissa,
    another great post from you. Write now, I am a college student and I can understand how work experience benefits us. Yes, connections really help in building good career. Thanks for sharing this post with us.
    Sudipto recently posted..Best Android Phone Under 10000My Profile

  11. Internships also give you the opportunity to experience what employment is like and offers you a chance to make up your mind whether you are in the right path or not. This is especially so if you take up the internship early enough like in the first or second year of your study

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