The internet is a lovely place that makes keeping in touch with former colleagues a breeze. LinkedIn is today’s most popular website for networking and keeping in contact with people from work. Make yourself a free profile and add all your colleagues from work as connections. There you’ll be able to track the careers of the people you’ve worked with – and message them periodically if you want to know how they’re doing. Also, former interns are highly encouraged to join the LinkedIn Intern Group alumni page.
2) Facebook / Twitter
Besides LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter are other social media tools you can use to keep in touch with colleagues. Keep in mind that since these are less formal and professional platforms you probably just want to add people closer to your own age. Also be aware that once you start adding work people to your Facebook friends, you really should avoid posting anything too controversial or outrageous on your profile. You never know who might see what and how that could affect their view of you as a professional.
Save work email addresses in your address book and don’t be afraid to send an occasional email to a former boss or colleague. Try to include something like an news story or meme that pertains the office. You don’t want to be a bother so try to be concise, smart and creative when you decide to reach out.
4) Attending company events or meetups
If you ever are invited to any events related to the company that are close to where you live, make sure you are present. Take any opportunity to meet up with people at the company you used to work at. It’s a great way to stay in touch.
5) Reach out to people in or passing through your area
Maybe a former coworker will be staying in your city for a conference? Or perhaps a fellow intern is moving to a nearby city to you. Take the time to make plans with these people if your paths do cross. Face-to-face interaction is the optimum way to stay in touch and maintain professional and personal connections.
6) Make an office visit
If you ever make your way back to the city where you did your internship abroad, make sure to take the time to go back and visit the offices. Coordinate with your supervisor beforehand and plan to pass through the office during a scheduled time that is convenient for all. Invite your supervisor to lunch and ask them about current projects – show that you continue to be interested in the office even though you’re not still there.
Photo 1. based on LinkedIn Centipede Participants in the 2010 ING Bay to Breakers, by A Name Like Shields Can Make You Defensive, CC-by-2.0