The “Do’s” and “Don’ts” of Networking

by Linda Costa, Assurance Intern, Bellingham

Networking might have helped you land an internship with Moss Adams, but don’t make the mistake of ending the networking process too soon. Building your network is a continuing part of your career. For many, this involves putting yourself out there and getting out of your comfort zone.

Do talk to new people every day.

When raising a puppy, it is essential to work on their socialization from day one. The rule of thumb is to introduce the pet to 100 people in their first 100 days. I like to take the same approach when networking.

The core value of the summer internship program is to connect with each other. Set a goal for the amount of people to simply say hello and small talk with for each day of your program. If you were to meet 10 different people each day of SIP, by the end your network would be 50 people larger than when you began.

Don’t eat lunch alone

Utilizing lunch and break times to meet and network with office employees is a great way to launch into new opportunities.  When back in the office, take a moment to be known. Introduce yourself to everyone you haven’t met in passing.

The worst thing an intern can be is afraid. Granted, a new job in any field can be nerve-wracking, it’s important to remember that if you’re nervous, you’re normal and that most of the office can relate to you. At one point, each and every current Moss Adams employee was a new employee. They are probably more eager to meet and help you adjust than you might think.

Don’t limit yourself to your home office.

Branching out beyond your local office means opening up opportunities to learn and grow from fellow interns and employees. Moss Adams is a growing company, with over 20 offices west of the Mississippi. When you return from SIP (Summer Internship Program), you will have ample time to get to know those in your office. My advice is to take advantage of this opportunity to get to know interns from other offices: they might end up being your co-worker some day! Ever notice how some professional sports players have a friendly courtesy toward the other team-mates? A lot of that is due to the fact they have been team mates in the past. Here at Moss we are a team – in our own offices, regionally, and beyond.

Don’t limit yourself to your field.

Tax, Audit, and various Consulting groups continually work together here at Moss Adams. Expanding your network beyond your field can help you greatly when compiling work projects in the future. Take the time to reach out to employees in different fields. If you’re in Audit, ask a Tax Manager to lunch! If you’re in Tax, ask an Assurance Senior Manager to coffee. The possibilities are endless when you consider Consulting too. Never limit yourself to any particular group. At the end of the day, knowing the inner workings of all of the client services we provide gives us opportunities to better serve our clients.

Do consider networking outside of the firm.

Networking does not exist solely within your company. Keep an open mind when it comes to meeting people, you never know who may be a potential client. For example, when traveling on a Monday morning to an audit engagement, your plane is more than likely filled with various business professionals. Perhaps you specialize in the consumer products industry, and you strike up a conversation with the stranger sitting next to you on the plane. Now imagine that person is an owner of an up and coming makeup line: you have just made a connection to a potential client.

Do represent Moss Adams.

When you leave the office at the end of your day, remember that you are still a Moss employee. Remember to be respectful of your surroundings when in public. Have the networking mentality: be weary that who surrounds you might be a potential client or co-worker.

Definitely have fun and make friends.

The most important aspect of networking is to have fun while doing it. The most memorable people are those who can be relatable; try to find common ground with people. Bridge the stranger-gap and show some of your personality. Building a network is equivalent to building lasting friendships; have fun with it!

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