This blog was written by Taylor Hicks, our Campus Ambassador from The Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, Los Angeles.
As interns, we are always seeking ways to build long-lasting relationships with our fellow interns and internship coordinators. These relationships are important because they are extremely beneficial to our careers and futures. In order for us to build these relationships we must be well organized, consistent, and willing to network with those around us. From my experiences with internships and building long-lasting relationships, I have learned that there is more than one way to keep in touch with the contacts that you make.
1: Social Media: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn are all excellent social media websites that allow you to keep up with your contacts! Use Facebook and Twitter to see what your contacts are currently doing and what they are talking about. Additionally, both social media websites are a great way to write small messages to your contacts that might not require a hand-written note. Pinterest can be useful for keeping in touch in that you can see what your contacts interests are and you can re-pin photos that are on their boards. Finally, LinkedIn is the more professional social media website that allows you to write recommendations for your contacts, see what current job they have, and what new contacts they might have made.
2: Email: Emailing is exceptionally important when keeping in touch with contacts. It is the fastest and easiest way to check in with people or to have a quick conversation. I personally have used email to best keep in touch with my contacts in different states by seeing how they are and what they have been up to since I last saw them.
3: Hand-written Thank You Cards: The key to this last example is hand-written. Therefore, whenever you have an interview or a contact does something special for you make sure to immediately write them a thank you card and mail it! The fact that the card is hand-written shows your contacts that you gave the extra effort instead of just emailing them. It also allows you to add your own personal touch to the card, something that you might not necessarily be able to do through email.
Whichever way you choose to go about it, it is important to keep in contact with your fellow interns and internship coordinators. These contacts are valuable resources for your future career endeavors, and you never know when you might want to reach out to them. The key to remember (especially when communicating via social media) is to always remain professional; these are, after all, professional, career-related contacts.