Last night I sat in on a HAPPO twitter chat. HAPPO stands for Help A PR Pro Out. There were some great questions and excellent answers from students and professionals. My favorite piece of advice came from Anne Buchanan.
Her tweet really got me thinking. I time traveled back to my first internship and thought about how I was able to get my foot in the door without any previous marketing/PR experience. Then I remembered. It wasn’t from answering an online job post. I went for an interview after I made the effort to talk to an in-class speaker about her job. She gave me her business card and I emailed her that afternoon. I impressed her with my quick follow-up and she extended an interview. I think some people underestimate the amount of opportunities available for networking. Networking isn’t just for career expos. There are some great everyday opportunities to network, especially as a college student. (See also: 5 Steps to Build Your Brand.) Tailgating is one of my favorites. I’ve exchanged more handshakes and email addresses at a college football tailgate than one would think. Some other noteworthy places include class, part-time jobs, restaurants, study lounges, etc. Search through your college’s career services site and find upcoming events. If you have a job, ask your manager if you can tag along with her/him at the next work schmoozing event.
As I tweeted a few weeks ago, “Network like it’s your job, because one day that’s how you’re going to get it.”