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Internships Are About The Connections- With Other Interns

March 13th, 2008 · 2 Comments

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I was contacted this morning by an old client of mine. About 5 years back, I helped this guy write 4 resumes in about 18 months for 4 different internships.

The internships were in all sorts of different industries. The guy didn’t quite know what career he wanted to end up in and thus figured he should sample as much as he could.

This guy is in PR in Washington DC now, and doing quite well. I’m not surprised to hear from him… he always was a master networker, and he always keeps in touch with you. I’m actually gonna meet him for drinks when I’m in DC a week from now.

Anyhoo… I told him about this blog and that got us into a discussion of internships and networking in general. I asked him what was the most valuable thing about his internshiping experience, and his answer surprised me. So, I asked him if I could share what he emailed me. Here ’tis (some details change to protect privacy):

The networking part of internships that has been the most interesting to me has been the connections I made with other interns. See, most people think the connections you want to make in an internship are amongst established people already in the industry. Certainly, that’s true to a certain extent. There’s a lot of people looking to learn and looking for mentors.

But my internship experiences were very much like college. We were all young. We were all fearless. We worked hard and partied hard. We became roommates with one another. Yes, some of us slept with others of us. But we’ve all stayed in touch. I guess it’s like that college dorm experience. You always stay friends with your buds across the hall from you. We were all young and “in the wars” together, so there was this sort of internship brotherhood that developed.

And those have been my longest lasting connections. Because, think about it, we’re all coming up in the professional world together. Today’s intern, thirty years later, is the CEO. As my friends rise, we all rise together and we help each other out. And we don’t have any stigma of being low man on the totem pole. We were all low together. Whereas, my “mentors” will always see me in something of a lower role, a young whippersnapper. And hey, those guys above me, those “mentors” are literally dying off. Meanwhile, the Brotherhood of Interns is sticking together to inherit the world.

Even if we’re not exactly in the same line of work, you never know when a connection will pay off. One girl I know is now a mid-level reporter with (NEWSPAPER NAME). Another guy is a deputy chief of staff for (CONGRESS PERSON NAME). Maybe one day it will be Editor and Congressman in their own right. And they’ll remember me as an equal and a friend. Of course by that time, I hope to be (EXECUTIVE TITLE)!

Anyway, if my experience is any indication, I’d tell your reads to kiss up to the established people and learn as much as they can from their mentors. Absolutely. But don’t forget to make strong connections with your fellow interns! And don’t lose track of those connections!

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Tags: Getting Ahead · Interns · Networking

  • Rick

    Nice post! There’s something valuable in an internship that goes beyond becoming business savvy and seeing how the experienced hands do their work and run a business. When you’re just starting out on your career path, you have a great opportunity to cultivate valuable professional relationships with like-minded peers. You get to share experiences, ideas, and even – in some cases – intimate details of your personal lives. And those relationships can serve you well later in life as you become a more experienced hand.

    For some, those may be the relationships that you’ll never forget.


    As an internship guru, I agree with your emphasis on the importance of networking with bosses and fellow interns! By building and maintaining relationships with bosses especially, interns can be introduced to the boss’s connections which can open the door for another opportunity. Essentially, interns can link themselves to a broader network of individuals who share the same interests. 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.

    Please visit for more internship related anecdotes.