If you are a working student, chances are that you will have to deal with corporate events like team-building retreats. In a nutshell, this is an event where companies bring together their whole teams in one location for a few days. The primary goal is to get everyone together outside the typical work environment, socialize, and help employees develop stronger bonds.
While such events can be pretty beneficial and fun, there are a couple of problems with them for student employees. First of all, if you’ve joined the company recently, the rest of the team might already have certain relationships, and you are still a stranger to them.
Secondly, you might be working part-time, which means that you didn’t have enough time to get to know your teammates and build stronger connections in the workplace. And lastly, you might also be significantly younger than your teammate, which can make it harder to fit in. But don’t worry! We’ve prepared a number of tips and tactics that will help you get the most out of team-building retreats as a student and make lots of friends with ease.
Remove Your Academic Matters Out of the Way
First and foremost, before attending such corporate events, you must ensure that all your assignments are covered. Luckily, there are trusted services where you can pay for papers and let expert writers handle your homework instead of you. This is important due to a few reasons:
- If your mind is occupied with your academic matters and you are worried about deadlines, you will not be able to relax and make the most out of the retreat.
- Retreats can take several days, during which you will hardly have time for writing papers and completing other tasks. Needless to say, you also don’t want to get low grades and harm your academic performance.
Due to these reasons, it’s pretty wise to delegate your academic matters to professionals before the event. This way, you will be able to devote 100% of your time and energy to your co-workers and won’t have to worry about your grades.
Be Approachable and Open
Although you might feel out of your plate, especially if you don’t know your team well yet, the core tip for making friends is to be open to new connections. That is, you shouldn’t isolate yourself or avoid communicating with others. Instead, be outgoing and smile. Don’t hesitate to walk up to people to say hello and introduce yourself. And also, be willing to communicate when others approach you.
An additional tip is to always make eye contact when talking to people. First of all, eye contact helps both interlocutors focus on the conversation. Secondly, it also helps build trust and improve understanding. Thus, it’s an important part of making friends.
Show Enthusiasm and Interest
Some people make you feel like they don’t care about what you’re saying during the conversation. Needless to say, not everyone will be willing to become friends with them. On the other hand, there are people who look so interested in what you’re saying that you want to talk to them every day.
In order to make lots of friends during a team-building retreat, you want to be the second type. Leverage active listening techniques and always show enthusiasm and interest in what others are saying.
Pretend Like Everyone’s Already Your Good Friends
There are a few unspoken rules used by people who make friends easily. One of the most important ones is to always talk to new people as if they are already your good friends.
In order to become friends with someone, you want that person to perceive you as their friend. Indeed, the easiest way to make this happen is to treat them as your friends from the start. This will make your new contacts feel like they have known you for ages, which will strengthen the connection. Besides, this tactic will help you remove awkwardness and tension that might be there between strangers. Instead, you will talk with ease, feel comfortable, and make others feel comfortable too.
Traditionally, corporate retreats involve a huge number of group activities. These can range from something simple as shared breakfasts and group discussions to sports competitions, morning yoga, and other activities that can help employees get to know each other and work as a team.
If you don’t know how to make friends during such events, a safe tactic would be to get proactive during these activities. Participate in discussions and sports. Use every activity to showcase your personality and abilities, and don’t avoid being a part of everything your co-workers do. Otherwise, you will be left out of the group, which definitely won’t help you fit in.
Do Some Pre-Event Research
The next tactic will work best for students who have just joined the team and didn’t have time to actually meet and get to know their co-workers prior to the retreat. In this case, a great idea would be to conduct some Internet research to understand who your co-workers are.
Today, nearly all professionals use social media for networking purposes. One of the most popular channels is LinkedIn, which can help you use this trick. Find your company on LinkedIn and browse its employees who are on this social network.
Send them invitations on LinkedIn and use their profiles to learn more about them. If you use this trick, by the time you arrive at the retreat, you will already have some information about your teammates. As a result, you won’t feel like a complete stranger. And you also will already have some points of contact with your teammates. This should make it much easier to build friendships.
The Bottom Line
Every working student knows that fitting into a workplace environment is hard. Luckily, team-building events simplify this process. Use the tips and recommendations from this guide to make the most out of team-building retreats as a student employee and make lots of friends without hassle!