Albers School of Business and Economics

Undergraduate Programs Blog Post

  • If I Could Do It All Over

    As I sit here writing; I am coming to the end of my junior year.  Being over half way through my college experience, I’ve spent a lot of time reflecting.  Reflecting on what has gone well, what could be improved on, and well, everything really.

    One question that continually comes up in my mind is the one thing I could change if I had the chance to do it all over.  And if I had to answer that question point blank, I would definitely say: networking. 

    As a first year student, I remember being constantly bombarded with messages regarding how important networking was.  Like clockwork, I would receive emails from the placement center with internship reminders.  My NSM sent me emails about networking opportunities. Guest speakers and professors continually talked about the importance of networking.  Frankly, I got bored, and frustrated by it all.  I told myself I had time (which I did), but now, as I am looking for internships, and post-graduation opportunities, I’m kicking myself for not going to more networking style events.

    Now that I am constantly attending networking events, I am realizing that the same people show up to the events a solid 80% of the time.  Sure, the first time I went to a networking fair, I felt awkward as heck.  I mean, I always feel a little bit awkward in social situations.  That’s just who I am. What makes events easier though is the relationships that you build with your peers, and recruiters.    

    The relationships that you establish at networking socials goes far beyond surface level conversations, and a handshake.  It’s really about keeping in touch.  Sending that follow-up email, asking what seem like mundane questions.  You think that everyone follows all of those tips that you get from listening to presentations given by the placement center? No.  In reality, only a few people actually spend the time to send thoughtful emails, and letters, and they really do set you apart from the rest of the pack. 

    It’s those relationships that you foster that will help you in the future.  It may not get you the job directly, but put yourself in the shoes of any human resource coordinator.  If you were sitting in their seat, would you want to interview, and subsequently hire another name on a resume, or would you rather interview someone you already know?  Most would go with the person that they know because there is a level of comfort there.  I know that I would. 

    Ultimately, networking won’t guarantee you a job in the future.  You still need to have all the qualifications that the position asks for.  But one thing is for sure, networking can never hurt.    



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