This is a guest post by our campus ambassador Crystal Yan from Amherst College. Crystal is a business development intern at Wednesdays.com. Read her blog at crystaly.wordpress.com and follow her on Twitter @crystalcy.
Recently, I had lunch with 10 other interns at the first gathering for the Bay Area Interns Lunch Club. I started the Bay Area Interns Lunch Club because I know that students travel to new and unfamiliar places to intern in the summer, and, unfortunately, most never get the chance to meet other students interning in their area. When I talked to students, I found that many of them wanted to meet and network with the students working near them. Now, I am proud to report that the Bay Area Interns Lunch Club has grown to include over 130 members.
One of the attendees at our first lunch was Daniel Shi, an MBA intern at Nokia Growth Partners. I interviewed him to learn more about his experiences with networking and his feelings about the Wednesdays intern lunch club.
Q: So Daniel, are you a big networker in general?
A: I&m actually painfully shy and awkward in large and noisy groups. I was one of those Asian American guys who had their heads down studying or playing StarCraft in high school, but I also worked in sales, where networking was a key to the profession.
Q: What did you do to build upon your networking skills?
A: I would try to find the other wallflowers and strike up a conversation with them. Believe me, they are looking for someone to talk to just as much as you are. Check out the edges of the feeding frenzy. Find the guys who are just standing around. Eventually I started my own networking event. It took a lot of work, but it was worth it. And most importantly, don&t always be closing. Pitch every day, but not every minute.
Q: What about the Bay Area Interns Lunch Club made networking easier for you, both personally and professionally?
A: The lunch today was a blast! I ended up meeting some really cool fellow interns. When I graduated from college, I realized that in the real world, it&s a lot harder to have the kind of social life that a college campus comes with because of a bunch of like-minded peers. And I personally think that one of the biggest bummers of the modern white-collar life is how often we eat alone, so this lunch club program is something I think is super compelling.
Daniel had a great time at the lunch club, and you can too! If you’re an undergrad or grad student interning in one of the cities listed below this summer, then join a lunch club to meet fellow interns and make new friends!
San Francisco Bay Area: http://wednesdays.com/g/bayareaintern
New York City: http://wednesdays.com/g/nycintern
Washington DC: http://wednesdays.com/g/dcintern
Los Angeles: https://wednesdays.com/g/laintern
If you are interested in starting a lunch club in your city, then shoot Crystal an email! firstname.lastname@example.org