I hope you’re staying warm on this strangely freezing March morning, I hope spring gets here soon! To all my fellow seniors out there who are currently applying for jobs and grad school, the process is incredibly STRESSFUL. The applications, the interviews, the desperation to make yourself stand out among others can be very overwhelming, but I have learned through my own job searching and affiliation with the CEPD office that networking is the KEY to helping this process be successful! This past Tuesday, I was able to attend Siena’s 14th Annual Career, Internship and Grad School Fair and I was SO glad that I did! Over 120 businesses set up tables in the MAC on Tuesday afternoon and a huge amount of students from all majors attended, handing out resumes and business cards and having conversations with employers about possible opportunities. This was the biggest networking event I have been to thus far and I have to admit, it was a bit nerve-wracking at first! Talking about yourself can definitely feel a little strange at first, but events such as these are a huge opportunity to talk about the skills and assets you can bring to a school or a team. I talked to about five or six different employers (even the Boston University Grad School) and they were all incredibly nice and interested in what I had to say. I was even able to speak with the team from Habitat for Humanity International about future volunteer opportunities, who told me my course of study (English and Marketing) would be perfect for their team!
Although I’m from out of state and was not able to find any immediate job openings in the Boston area that were offered at the career fair, I am so glad that I was able to attend. I met some fantastic people, particularly from Linium Recruiting, who have offered to see what they can do with my resume. In addition, I received some advice about how to enter the Marketing and Public Relations field, which has helped me tremendously in continuing my job search. Networking is about creating relationships with experienced professionals and about learning as much as possible about creating a strong future career; over the past four years as a Siena student, I have truly learned how to network. Having a Liberal Arts education has not only provided us with hard earned degrees, but has also provided skills that we will take into the professional world and beyond. If you come across large networking events such as this one, or even smaller meetings, go to them! They may be nerve-wracking and you may think, “Well, how is this going to help me?,” but I promise, it’ll be worth your while. Networking events are like informal interviews and they will give you the chance to practice presenting yourself to employers, something that one can never do often enough. You’ll learn so much about the career field you’re pursuing. Even if you don’t find a job with that particular company, odds are they are going to know someone who will be able to help you!
Check out my article at http://www.hercampus.com/school/siena to see a list of tips on how to network the right way! Did you go to the career fair on Tuesday? Let me know in the comments!
Julia Lowney (Student Intern)