Creating Professional Relationships – Callie Hiner
The one thing that they don’t teach you in Finance 101 is the importance of people skills. Last year I completed my summer internship at MUFG. My key take away was that building relationships and internal networking as an intern is huge because it allows you to learn more about your own business area and to gain exposure to different business areas across the firm. I would like to share with you some things that have helped me build successful relationships around MUFG:
1. First Impressions
A positive first impression goes a long way and it is as simple as a firm handshake, eye contact, a smile, and a desire to learn from the person you are meeting.
2. Becoming a Member of Your Team
Although us interns are only here for a short nine weeks, I have found that becoming a member of my operations team has helped me learn more and take on more responsibility. In addition to always asking questions, reading relevant information on my own, and always submitting my best work, I have taken every opportunity I can to get to know my co-workers better and make myself available to help in any way that I can.
3. Internal Networking
As part of our Executive Challenge, we are required to reach out to executives around the company to learn about other business areas. In addition to coming to these meetings, having questions prepared and having done some reading on that group, I have found that creating strong working relationships with these executives has helped me learn more beyond the one hour that I am sitting there. This has enabled me to come back with more questions or schedule another time to shadow, it has also helped me get my hands on internal reading material that I wouldn’t have otherwise seen and has earned me invitations to sit in on meetings and conference calls that I wouldn’t have otherwise been invited to.
4. Be Yourself!
Maintaining a highly professional demeanour in the work place is of upmost importance; however, that doesn’t mean that you can’t be yourself in the process. I have had some great conversations with people around the company by finding some mutual interest or having some conversation not related to finance. This has opened doors to learning more about people’s experiences in their careers beyond what their role is at MUFG: people love to impart their knowledge, you just have to get to know them a little more and ask.
These four things I have learned about building effective professional relationships have helped me tremendously towards my two main goals this summer of adding value to MUFG and learning as much as possible. Now working as a Credit Sales Analyst in our New York office, these four things remain just as important as they were during my internship.