A rich professional network opens doors to future internships, career opportunities and peers. You never know who in your network might serve as a job reference, provide you with important information, act as a sounding board or resource, or become a potential employer. Think about everyone you know. Each person you meet has a wealth of skills, talents, insights – and further connections.

Whether you are networking in person or over the Web, increasing your professional network requires ethical networking skills. The strongest relationships are based on trust and are built over time – through multiple contacts and conversations. The best networkers ask questions, follow-up, offer their help and are great listeners. 

Land an internship using your existing network

Aug 15, 2011

The best sources for internship leads always come through networking. Consider the following list of potential people that you can begin networking with right away:

University faculty and staff

  • Many professors at colleges and universities have industry experience and remain in contact with many of their old colleagues who are still in the field.
  • A number of educators from universities usually have strong ties to professionals in the community who probably contact them at least once a year for recruiting purposes. Professionals who visit the campuses
  • Many professionals who visit campuses for student meetings and classroom visits are involved in campus recruiting for their company.
  • These professionals are often visiting the campus to let you know about their firm or company so that you will consider them first when it comes to full‐time employment or internship opportunities.

Anyone you come in contact with—word of mouth

  • Many recruiters ask former interns if they know any other good internship candidates.
  • A recruiter would love to hear someone they know personally vouch for an internship candidate. Before you apply for internships find out if you know anyone that works for the company or firm that you are interested in.