Three weeks ago was all about breaking the routine. My supervisor and I took part of a conference at the nearby YMCA where our employer hosted a workshop called “The Art of the Handshake.” Rising high school seniors and college freshman would soon start their summer internships in different New York City organizations and learn the importance of a great handshake and first impression. For many of those students, these would be their first jobs.
My role was to demonstrate how they should introduce themselves to each other; and what questions to ask. For example, I asked my supervisor where she was from and how long she had been working at the agency, and she asked me what I was majoring in. After the students introduced themselves to their assigned peer, and later to the whole room, they introduced themselves to my colleague and I. This was a terrific opportunity to learn something about each student, and for them to learn something about me. I told each student where I attend college, and it turns out that one of the students is planning to apply to Bryn Mawr in the fall!
This experience is valuable for me for when I apply for internships or jobs after graduation.
Tips to making a favorable first impression:
- Maintain eye contact when speaking with someone
- Give a confident (not too firm, not too weak) handshake
- Remember an important detail from their introduction so that you can make a connection with him/her and to carry on an insightful conversation later on.