Network Network Network
From as long as I can remember I have not been the small talker. I’d run out of something to say in about two seconds flat and then just stand there awkwardly. This hindered me from even trying to talk to some people at times in fear that I might freeze up and my general questions like “how are you?” might not cut it and make the person pick up the conversation. The thought of freezing in front of someone that was my superior even frightened me more. What if I look stupid? What if they ask something I don’t know the answer to? All I hoped was the other person would continue to talk so I didn’t have a chance to make myself look bad. Being an Intern at Independence Blue Cross has helped me develop as better networker.
Networking is a prime tool in any industry. It is important to talk to people and make as many connections as possible because you never know who knows who and what you can accomplish just by talking to those around you. Simple things like asking someone about their day and what department they work for can lead to a conversation and connections that are very valuable both personally and definitely professionally.
While being here I was able to take a class on both networking and interview skills that they offered to all interns. This class was not only helpful because of the tips that they have given us but also because they were very applicable everyday in the workplace. Whether it was going to a networking event or just talking to someone in the elevator I became very comfortable talking to those around me. I became able to go past the “how are you?” and and am able to complete conversations and not wait for the other person to keep the conversation moving.
I have seen how so many people have moved through the company from simply not being scared to speak up and talk to those around them. Whether it is intern moving to associate or associate moving floors and departments. It is always about not being afraid to talk and approach those you need to. Networking will help you move forward because of the opportunities that are opened through the connections made. This is one of the most valuable skills that I have acquired through working at Independence Blue Cross.
I consider myself an outgoing person but I too realized that small talk and making it less awkward is very hard. I would not mind taking a class about networking because it is very important! One little conversation about someones pet can lead to a job, you never know!