A music business major* shares observations on the importance cultivating real relationships with his internship coworkers:

Over the past couple weeks, I seem to have crossed the line between “random new intern” and “nice guy who I kind of know”. It’s mostly been due to luck, actually. That and maintaining an outgoing personality when needed as well as wearing my passions on my sleeve.

For instance, one of my three bosses is rather closed-off and short with people. But while we were backstage at one of the concerts an artist of ours was playing, we got to talking about guitarists. He has a pretty wide knowledge of the psychedelic era guitarists and we connected on that for a while, then I lent him some dvds, and now we’re friendly. Another co-worker of mine always seemed to hold back around people during conversation, and I figured it was because he seemed to have a controversial sense of humor. I let him know I don’t offend easily and that he should feel free to let loose when we work together. Immediately, he started talking more and opening up about other things too.

Another instance was a boss’ birthday when nobody in the office had planned anything. So I had a band of mine sing three part harmonies to Happy Birthday so he could come into work the next day and have that waiting on his answering machine; he got nicer after that. Other instances like sharing music with co-workers to running into others outside of work and realizing they put on a colder persona at work on purpose have helped me understand the office dynamic better, along with other similar situations.

We’ve all met a good amount of people who quite obviously use people as stepping stools and seem to avoid making real relationships. Everyone I’ve met like that, in college and otherwise, gains a very negative reputation and gets put on an unofficial “do-not-trust list,” even when they hire you for gigs. Over and over at clinics, we’re told  real relationships are what you need to be making- because those are how good business is done. It seems the people I’ve been meeting who are successful in the business are always keeping in touch and finding something in common to connect on, and the ones who fall through the cracks are the ones who neglected relationships.

*In the interest of providing the most candid perspective, this blogger wished to be identified by major only.