Recently I wrote a post on how the fashion show is not a place to network. So one of my Twitter followers asked if I could write a post on when is a good time to network. Great question! Of course you need to network and you should, but there is a time and a place. I can only speak for Fashion PR, but some of this I am sure applies to other industries.
1. Think big picture: I know you’ve heard this since birth but really, you are packing up a garment bag to be delivered to MagazineX so stop to examine the players who might be involved in that transaction. I would bet there is an assistant on the opposite side of the fence who is desperately waiting for said garment bag.
*Idea: Why not ask your supervisor if you can contact the magazine assistant to let them know the bag is on its way? It is one less thing for your supervisor to think about and then guess what? You are forming a relationship with someone on the outside!
*Follow-through! This is SOOOO important. Always check with the messenger center to see if the garment bag was delivered and signed for and then alert your supervisor and said magazine assistant (in separate emails) as such. #BonusPoints
2. Hand delivery: Interoffice mail may be more efficient but nothing replaces the intimacy of hand delivering mail. You might get a chance to speak to the person you are handing off to, so don’t be lazy and take advantage of face time.
3. After hours: People work hard and often work late. Why not be the intern that’s there through thick and thin. Be there when everyone let’s their hair down after hours and is working hard to accomplish the same goal. It’s intimate and it’s a golden opportunity to set yourself apart.
*Note: Don’t confuse the above with hovering or stalking. You need to ask your supervisor if he/she would like you to stay.
4. Private time: Do schedule time with a supervisor to ask how you are doing in the middle of the internship. Take to heart any feedback you get and work to implement any changes necessary. If there are other people in the company you are interested in meeting, always ask your supervisor first if it would be ok to schedule time with them (don’t do this until after you have already met with your own supervisor).
*Don’t think too big here and fantasize scheduling time with the CEO. But for example, if you are in PR, but have some interest in Marketing too, it is totally normal to want to investigate another area of a company.
5. Ask for work: Be the person who is always looking to do more. It will not only impress your supervisor, but it will get you more experience too and isn’t that the point of interning?!
6. A few Don’ts: Do not tweet your supervisor. Do not friend your supervisor on Facebook. LinkedIn is acceptable at the end of your internship. Even the most down to earth people appreciate boundaries and on a higher level, hierarchy. Hierarchy keeps the pecking order neat and tidy. Engage but don’t be over aggressive. You will shine through your work, not through telling your boss what you did last weekend (dancing until 4am at a club). *Grain of salt- you know when you have formed a friendship past the formal supervisor/intern one..use your best judgement on the above. There are exceptions…
This is all I could think of at the moment…hope it is helpful…
DKNY PR GIRL