The Importance of Being…Social?

When you finally get the internship that you wanted, this might not be your first priority. The nervousness and excitement you feel on the first day may cause your top focus to just be not to trip over your own feet as you walk to your cubicle. However, your sociability and amiableness could be key to ensuring your internship is one you are learning the most from. When you are friendly (genuinely friendly) and show a simple interest in someone’s day or how they are feeling, then it shows that you care and you start to build a relationship with that person. Why should this matter other than for networking? Because then that professional understands that they can trust you more in the office and even perhaps as just an individual. In every office (at least good ones) there are two networks: professional and social. Obviously the professional one is explanatory but the social one affects a lot more than meets the eye. The fact that you feel as if you have friends in the office helps out your mood, it also makes the office more familiar this in turn makes you more committed to your work and do a better job overall. For example, try to imagine how people might react in a similar situation at different locations. At an internship you dislike, if you are doing a potentially tedious task that a staff member gave to you such as putting orders into the computer, you might just be relieved to get it done and move on to the next thing. At one that you do like where you are friendly with the staff, you may put the orders in but take the time to check them again because it’s just a nice thing to do and it’s not as tedious when you are in a good mood. In addition, when you are social with everyone in the office, they will make it a part of their to-do list to make you get a good experience in your internship as well and to incorporate you more into the networks. Therefore, instead of getting their coworker to help them they may take the extra time to sit with you so you can help them instead. Helping out the staff with their work is usually what makes your internship a great learning experience. In my advertising sales internship at PHL17, that was the best part – not only helping out the staff members but have them come to you and keep returning to get things done. It made me feel like an integral part of the office and like they valued me and my work. Thus I learned and developed so many things out of my internship that I did not know before I walked through its doors. I can be pretty shy in a new setting in the beginning, but my sociability with the staff just made things that much better because they knew they could depend on me. Therefore, getting an internship and doing well in it is not fully up to the fact of how well you do your work and how fast. It also depends on being friendly, social, and just caring about the rest of the staff wherever you work. They may seem like intimidating professionals at first, but at the end of the day, they are just people!

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