Great Tips

My name is Cody Levin, I am a project management intern for the Student Advertising Summit and I am a student at the University of St. Thomas. In an earlier post, Lindsey Moss mentioned what the PM interns do, so check out her great post if you want to learn more about the position.My time at the SAS had taught me more things than I can count. The most important thing that I have learned about is networking, which prior to this internship was the most terrifying obstacle occuring between me and landing an internship.Here are a few tips on how to make professional friends:

Get Involved

The best way to start your professional friendship network is to get involved. But remember this not is high school, so don’t focus your time on the clubs and organizations that are the largest or the coolest. Instead, choose the ones you are most interested in or will enjoy the most.

Don’t be afraid of strangers

As long as they are not in an unmarked van, strangers provide an excellent opportunity for you to network your way to meet new and exciting people that could potentially become professional friends.

Bring your passion

While you may be at a professional event, don’t simply talk about the industry. Bring your passions into the conversation – those are the things that will make you a stand out employee and make you more likable.

Don’t network to get a job, network to make friends

Even though you probably need a job, go to networking events looking for friends and not an internship. There is nothing more awkward for a professional than being in a conversation with a student who is clearly evaluating how useful their connection will be in getting them an internship, especially if the student deems them unworthy and walks away mid-sentence. It’s rude, and the people who can help you will see right through your motives.

Stay in touch

When you do make a professional friend, stay in touch. Link with them on LinkedIn, get their email. Don’t force it, but when appropriate, contact them; maybe you need their advice on something or maybe you want to congratulate them on a great campaign their agency did.

While the world of professional networking is scary, thinking about it in a more casual sense will make it easier and significantly more enjoyable.
Written by: Cody Levin
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