This is a guest post from Intern Queen Campus Ambassador Stephanie Takach from Drexel University.
We can all remember the cafeteria scene in high school—a time of the day that reminded us all too clearly that we were defined by who we sat with. I learned that the same applies in the corporate world. The only difference? As an intern you have more power than the head cheerleader when it comes to where you sit and who you sit with. Use that power wisely!
Lunch is a powerful hour for interns, especially those in a larger office setting. Here are some tips about how to make the most of that hour every day of the week.
- Monday: Schedule lunch with other interns in the office. While students constantly hear how important it is to network with professionals, remember that the interns next to you can be just as powerful of a resource when it comes to the job hunt post-grad. For me, lunch with fellow interns was an informal time to catch up on the past weekend and learn about the projects they were working on.
- Tuesday: Schedule lunch with your boss or direct report. I’m sure your boss is super busy, especially in the corporate world where it’s common for people to work through the lunch hour. However, encourage your boss to sit down for 30 minutes and grab lunch with you. This is a great time to informally get to know them and ask if there’s anything you can help them with that week.
- Wednesday: Schedule lunch with a VP. I was the only intern bold enough to put time on my VP’s calendar at a past internship and it paid off! Find someone in upper management and simply ask them how they got to where they are now. The conversation is sure to fill up the lunch hour. It will also show your team members how confident and professional you are. (Hint: if you’re having trouble scheduling time, reach out to their secretary for help!)
- Thursday: Schedule lunch with someone outside of your department. While marketers tend to stick with marketers, getting to know employees in graphics, HR and finance is always a good idea. I used to ask my boss who she thought would be good to meet with in other departments and reach out to them.
- Friday: Schedule lunch with your team. My team was always too busy to all sit down together. As an intern, I took it upon myself to put a team lunch on the calendar on as many Fridays as possible. It was a great way for us to bond and make time to get to know each other. If you’re feeling really crafty, plan a potluck lunch and reserve a conference room for everyone to feast in.
While some interns strive to show they are committed and work through their lunch hour, I believe that they’re missing out on so many great opportunities that the lunch hour has to offer.