This is a guest blog by Marissa studies Journalism with an emphasis on Strategic Communication. If you go to MU as well and want to guest blog please leave a comment here.
When you first start an internship, it may be hard to make yourself comfortable in a new work environment—especially when you’re working with veterans of the company. When I started my internship at Dierbergs Markets in St. Louis this summer, I was not working with the person who hired me, which forced me to make some valuable first impressions on my first day.
Since I’m the only intern for my department, many people knew of me, but it was my job to get to know them. I started taking advantage of every opportunity I had to make conversation or small talk. It never hurts to ask a random co-worker how their day is going or what their plans are for the weekend. It may actually make their day and shows them that you’re personable and outgoing—which is the reputation you want as an intern. Whether you’re passing by someone in the hallway or making a sandwich in the kitchen, just saying “hi” can go a long way. Also, using their name and making eye contact shows that you’re confident and comfortable with meeting new people.
After a couple weeks, I really got to know my boss and we talk everyday about what’s going on in our lives outside of work. You don’t have to become best friends with your boss by any means, but it has made the work environment much more comfortable and friendly. It can be a way for you to gain their trust and usually employers appreciate an outgoing personality. So far, it’s helped me to become more involved with assignments, projects, and even meetings, which teaches me more about the company everyday. Also, if you ever need that handy recommendation letter (which we all know is crucial), you want them to be able to acknowledge your personality along with your work ethic.
Overall, getting to know your co-workers is a great way to make connections. I’m always trying to meet someone new and learn something about a person I didn’t know before. You never know if you’re going to have to e-mail or talk to them later on for a task or assignment, so it can be helpful in the long run. You want people to know who you are—in a good way, of course—and it’s worthwhile in the end. It’s definitely one of the keys to networking, which can lead you to a promotion or eventually your dream job!