People of SU

Networking Leads New Grad to Internship and Employment

Written by Allison Nitch

March 4, 2021

London Jones in graduation cap and gown.

Image credit: Courtesy of London Jones

When it came time for alumna London Jones, ’20, to find an internship, she started with the Career Engagement Office at Seattle University, which supported her initial journey through access to networking events and providing unique internship opportunities for consideration.  

The Career Engagement Office “partners with a dedicated campus-wide and alumni network to help students self-assess their own strengths in line with their unique identities, values and goals to connect with meaningful experiential opportunities where they will gain invaluable transferrable skills, try out career fields of interest and build communities of support,” says Hilary Flanagan, Career Engagement director. 

Graduating with a degree in communication and journalism, Jones then took the initiative to go a step further by reaching out to her contacts via LinkedIn. “Really utilize your network,” she says. “The most important thing … is just asking everyone and following up with people to maintain a direct line of communication with them.”

In August 2020, one of those connections, family friend Paul Lwali, president and CEO of Friends of Youth (FOY), a nonprofit that provides services for youth and their families, happened to be seeking a communications intern.

“A lot of the work that we do is either connecting individuals to crisis services or connecting families and young adults to therapy, counseling and any type of therapeutic resource they need,” says Jones. As a big network of support … the mission is to provide [access to] resources and relationships.”

While balancing classes and a part-time job at a local bagel shop, Jones interned three days a week and led the charge of making sure her FOY colleagues had what they needed to provide consistent information for clients and supporters. Her responsibilities included a focus on social media, generating blog articles, a printed newsletter and creating graphics.

Upon hiring her as an intern, Lwali says Jones was asked to work on a project that FOY leadership discussed for years, but never executed. “London took on the project with zeal and quickly moved us from brainstorming to ideation. She asked a lot of questions, offered a lot of suggestions and shared her knowledge freely. In other words, she embraced the … challenge and made it her own!”

Within two months at FOY, the new grad with a specialization in strategic communications was offered a full-time position as a communications specialist and continues to work from home due to the pandemic.

Currently, Jones’ two largest projects include revamping FOY’s website and creating a microsite honoring the nonprofit’s 70th anniversary and legacy, in addition to managing the organization’s social media presence.

“I have enjoyed working with her on our 70-year legacy project, because her knowledge and ability to listen and understand are tailor-made for our agency’s marketing and communication needs,” says Lwali.

“It took us two months to find the person and professional we had been struggling to find for the past three years.”

Flanagan adds, “We hear time and time again how much prospective employers look forward to working with SU students and alumni due to their deep commitment to social justice, their strong work ethic and their tireless dedication to doing their part to enhance our world.”

Jones says she appreciates the support she received from faculty in Seattle U’s Communication Department, which she describes as “amazing people that … care for their students, listen to what we have to say, understand if anyone’s going through a tough time. I think they’re rock stars who have made me blossom [and learn to] speak up for myself and just really appreciate the work that I do.”