July 31, 2018 ・ Written by T.J. Duane

Make the Most of Your Summer: Do Lunch

Meet new people and learn new things.

Make the Most of Your Summer: Do Lunch

Summer is in full swing, and that means it’s internship season. If you’re currently doing the internship hustle, congrats! An internship can be a wonderful way to get real-world experience in your field.

Even if you’re stuck making coffee or licking stamps (poor you), you’ve still got an opportunity on your hands. You’re working in an office full of professional people who started right where you are now. Many of them would even be willing to share their expertise with you — all you have to do is ask.

(If you’re in your early career, listen up! You should absolutely be doing this on the regular, too.)

I recommend asking folks to lunch. Lunch is great because there’s less time pressure than a coffee break, or just dropping by somebody’s desk to grill them (don’t do that).

I know that might sound like a tough hurdle…what if somebody blows you off? It can help to remember that most people don’t do this. Just asking is setting yourself apart. Besides that, the worst that will happen is your colleague may say “Sorry, I’m too busy this week.” As long as you frame your ask kindly, it won’t reflect poorly on you at all.

So once a week, ask somebody to lunch.

You don’t have to eat out. (Brown bagging is totally cool, don’t let them tell you otherwise.) Just grab a corner of the lunch room or take a walk outside if the weather is great. These kinds of informal, unstructured chats can help you understand the industry, the work/life balance in different roles, and how folks ended up where they are.

Just be sure to have a couple of open-ended questions in your back pocket. They can really help people open up.

Remember, you’ve got limited time with this organization. You won’t be able to gather all the information you might need about your chosen profession or the company culture, but you can learn faster by talking to your colleagues.

If you’re working instead of interning, remember that you can still make the most of your summer in a similar way, it just may take a little extra leg work. Summer is a great time to connect with people in your field — you can connect with alumni (who are super likely to help you out!) on BrightCrowd.