Hi, all! I’m back again, but this time I’m not going to provide a list of tips I’ve learned from my first internship experience. Rather, I’m going to offer what I consider to be some pretty sound advice on a topic very important to me: socializing.

Starting my internship this semester, I found myself working for two young women only a few years older than me. I was met with internal conflict: do I try to be friends with them, or do I keep our interactions strictly professional? The answer? I found it best to do both! What I mean is I made attempts to gain a better understanding of the personal lives of the women I worked with. I wasn’t nosy, but I reached out little by little. Something as simple as asking how their weekends were opened the door for long, in-depth conversations that I felt helped me connect with them on a much more personal level. By doing so, I found myself being invited to lunch and happy hours. It also helped me gain a better understanding of how best to assist them in the office.

Something I can’t stress enough is socializing with the people in the office you don’t have regular interactions with. When walking by someone’s desk, passing each other in the hallway, or even bumping into someone you recognize in the bathroom, ask them how they’re doing! Reach out and be friendly. Not only will having friends in the office make your experience more enjoyable, but you’ll also leave a lasting impression.

My point in this post is to help you understand that your internship is more than just an opportunity to gain experience. Look at it as a networking event that you get to attend over and over again all semester! While I haven’t necessarily made any friends to hang out with on the weekend, I’ve built connections that could very well help me in my future endeavors. Who knows, maybe I’ll get a job thanks to one of them!