Networking Authentically

Friday was the last day of my internship at Allstate. I'm convinced that working full time makes the months move faster. Allstate is a Fortune 100 company with somewhere around 75,000 employees across the country. And this summer, I made a goal to learn as much about it as I could.  As an intern with no idea what kind of career I want, I saw networking as the easiest way to gain insight into Allstate and my career path.

Networking can get a bad rep. Some people automatically associate it with people who are only concerned with, "what's in it for them." And that is the way that some people network. However, networking at its core is about building connections. Here are a few ways I went about networking this summer:


1. Talk to your friends

In talking to other interns this summer, I realized that they were doing work that excited me. My friends were then willing to introduce me to people in that department. I'd connect with people in that department and they'd tell me that I really should talk to so-and-so. The cycle continued until I'd met a host of wonderful people who helped me learn more about what I wanted from a career.

2. Get out there

The corporate world is a lot like high school. There are all of these extracurriculars to get involved in. I would go to an event with the goal of finding one person who I would like to get to know more. Later we would meet at Starbucks and chat.

3. Use your time

If you already have a meeting scheduled with someone, try to take 5 minutes to ask them about their story. How long have they been in their role? What was their career path? What's one piece of advice they have? People were more than willing to share their wisdom with me.

After leaving Allstate, I feel like I made genuine relationships that I plan to continue even when I'm away at school. That's the power of networking.

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  1. I am right there with you on how to utilize time. Occasionally, I asked classmates, professors, or people I looked up to if they would like to sit with me at lunch or go out for dinner. (Heck, they needed to eat anyway!)

  2. I agree with you when you say networking can get a bad rep. But I also like how you summed up its core intention: to build connections.

  3. No one really succeeds alone so networking has become important than ever. If you are backed up with a good network you can certainly kick business off ground. You need to use the right tools as well. One tool you can use is business cards. Print Peppermint has some of the most amazing cards and they’re inexpensive. Go check out their site, they're offering 10% off coupon.


Thanks for making my day a little brighter with your lovely words!