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Intern Alumni Network

Posted March. 03, 2007 03:24,   


Yang Dong-cheol (29), who is a part of the marketing strategy team of SK Telecom, has stored his cellular phone numbers into 10 groups. Out of the 10, six groups are of those whom he met during his intern activities in his college years. With a major in business administration, he worked as an intern of ShinSegi Telecom i Monitor (2001), Hyundai-Kia Motors (2003), and SK Telecom Voyager (2004).

Yang devoted himself to intern activities because he wanted the work experience and to build human networks. However, he says that his connections made during internships are more than that.

He significantly benefited from his intern connection when he entered SK Telecom in 2005. A friend of his that Mr. Yang visited before submitting his resume was not a school or hometown friend as one might expect; rather, he was an intern senior whom he got to know while working at ShinSegi Telecom i Monitor.

The senior advised him that he should have an interview after uncovering a new trend of the IT industry. SK Telecom seeks creative people rather than just “nerds.” Yang wrote a self-introduction letter based on his senior’s advice and passed the narrow entrance of the company like a pinhole more easily than others.

Connections Made from Internships Currently Highlighted among Those in their Twenties-

More and more companies have been hiring employees through internships since early 2000, and many college students are participating in the internship process. Therefore, the intern network is playing an important role for those in their 20s.

A quality change in networking, which was represented by academic and regional ties, has also begun. As tendencies of those in their 20s emphasizing practicality and a strong desire to develop themselves are reflected, the intern connection is becoming increasingly important.

In May 2006, Yang was assigned an urgent project, which was to make of list of companies run by knowledge management and to analyze their characteristics. It was a tough project for him, a second-year employee, but he started to work by making a couple of phone calls on his cellular phone.

For help, he asked a friend who was working for a strategy planning team of Hyundai Oilbank. His friend willingly sent him relevant data about his company, and Yang finished a report in two days with the help of his friend.

When plans to develop financial instrument related to mobile communication were in order in January 2006, he was able to easily decipher market conditions thanks to his college friend who was working for a financial company.

Moreover, Yang often checks responses about his company’s advertisements through his friend who works for an advertising company.

Such friends of Yang were intern friends who also participated in the SK Telecom Voyage internship program. Three out of 20 Voyage friends entered mobile telecommunication companies, and the rest entered various fields such as major companies, advertisement companies and financial companies.

Yang said, “The intern connection is a relationship mixed with pure friendship in the college years as well as practical needs, so it is firmer than any other connection.”

An intern network does not just include friends. Networks expand naturally according to members’ new interests.

Han Seok-hwan (28), who works for Shinhan Bank and was among the first batch of Shinhan Bank college student PR ambassadors, has a gathering once a month with about 20 others who are engaged in the financial field.

Han said, “Our members don’t miss gatherings because we work in the same field and have a lot of information to share. And we can help each other when we reach higher positions. If the number of those who were Shinhan Bank PR ambassadors increases in 10 or 20 years, we will have separate gatherings within the company. It seems that the intern connection will naturally become a new human network within companies.”

Cha Dong-ok, professor of business administration at SungKyunKwan University, said, “Intern networking is different from academic and regional ties, which are more passive, in that intern networking is formed by the person him or herself. These days, when it is important to develop competitiveness, the intern network, a verified connection, is becoming increasingly more important.”

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