Networking is probably one of the most frequently used business buzz words. Unfortunately it isn’t as easy to practice as it is to say. Ever since entering OSU and the Fisher College of Business, my professors, faculty, and even classmates have emphasized networking. I have to admit in the beginning I was very skeptical. Even now at my first internship all of my managers, mentors, and coworkers emphasize the power of networking.
Has anyone ever told you something along the lines of, “if you’re interested in something, let me know! I will try to get you connected with right people to make it happen”? Personally, I have always thought that those were just polite words put together in a sentence to sound good. Contrary to my original notion, Key is entirely sincere when offering to aid me in the pursuit of my passions. At the very beginning of my internship I expressed interest in Data Analytics. Data Analytics interests me because it is a fast growing industry. In addition, I have previous experience with Tableau software through my involvement with the Buckeye Undergraduate Consulting Club (BUCC) on campus. I mentioned this interest once or twice during a training session. A few days later my manager pitched me an opportunity to sit down with the manager for the Data Analytics team. In addition, a meeting was schedule with a rotational analyst on the team. Within three weeks of interning with Keybank, I am being offered an opportunity to see another function within the company. I strongly believe this extraordinary opportunity is all thanks to networking.
Before my internship, I figured I would arrive at work at 8:00am and work on projects until 5:00pm and then head back home. Once again, Key surprised me. Even though I will only be with Key for a 10-week internship, they are dedicated to integrating me into the culture and making me a full member of the team. A perfect example of this is the Key Young Professional Networking Group (KeYP). This group aims to connect young professionals in after hour philanthropy, education, and social events. I learned about the group while researching the company before my interview. During my first week, I expressed interest to one of my mentors who put me in contact with the current president. The next thing I know I am invited to the next philanthropy dinner. While at the dinner I ran into the head of Credit Risk Review. Later in the summer all of the interns have a speaker series scheduled with this individual, but that night I was able to have a one-on-one discussion with him. The opportunity was priceless.
Reflecting on all that has been accomplished in the first two or three weeks of my internship energizes me for the next eight. If you have interests in a group or a project that is outside of directly assigned duties, ask your manager! Chances are you can sit in on a meeting or better yet, pick up a section of the task to work on! Every day is an opportunity to improve, try new things, and grow! Don’t let a second get away.
Opinions expressed are those of the speakers and do not necessarily represent those of KeyBank