Five years ago I managed a group of 25 college interns for an Activision Campus Marketing Representative program. Since then, I’ve willingly and enthusiastically recommended this group of students-turned-professionals for countless jobs, as they’ve climbed their way to successful careers at companies like Google and Microsoft - some have even launched their own companies and tech start-ups. Occasionally, I’ll get an email, IM or Facebook message from any one of my former interns asking what I’m up to and updating me on their current adventures.
So, why do I love keeping in touch with these former interns? Not only do I enjoy following their success, but I also see great value in maintaining a relationship with them, as they are becoming leaders, decision makers and the future of the companies that hire them (based partially on my awesome recommendations, of course). Just this week, one my former Activision interns reached out to me on LinkedIn to ask about my role at Lava Row. Turns out, he’s one of the founders of an interactive marketing technology company and he would like to give me a demo of their platform. My former intern just became a potential vendor/partner.
While this may seem like networking 101, you’d be surprised at the number of opportunities you can miss out on by not keeping in touch with your former interns and associates. You never know where they’ll end up and when they’ll be calling you to repay you for the value and experience you once provided them. I recommend LinkedIn and Twitter for keeping in touch professionally, so don’t forget to add your interns and coworkers to your digital Rolodex, as they will likely change email addresses many times as they climb the ladder to success. How do you keep in touch with former interns and associates? What successes have resulted from these connections?