Network, network, network. As a public relations student, I heard this more than I wanted to. It’s not until it comes full circle that you realize just how valuable it is to make meaningful connections with not only professionals in your industry, but also people all around you too, including coworkers and peers. The great thing about connections is that it can happen anywhere, whether it’s at a school function, at a corporate event you’re working, or even at the grocery market.
I believe that everything happens for a reason. The fall semester of my junior year at SUNY Oswego, I was the most busy I’ve ever been – an internship, job, two e-board positions, mentoring program, and four classes. Life was a circus, and I gave some thought to dropping down from my e-board position with one of the business clubs on campus. I talked with the president of the club, and he convinced me to stay. That decision, however small, gave me an amazing opportunity that has opened many doors.
That amazing opportunity just so happened to be a student ambassador position for an alumni event for the school of business. One of the two alumni assigned to our club was a local woman entrepreneur who specialized in public relations and event planning. Having been the only public relations major in this particular business club, it felt like a sign that everything happens for a reason.
As a student ambassador for the alumni event, I escorted the alumna from a networking breakfast to the classroom where I introduced her before she gave a speech to students. I helped her during her presentation by clicking through her PowerPoint slides and afterwards, made a point to let her know how much I loved reading her blog (which I found when I researched her). It was the perfect segment into asking her about internship opportunities with her company and she left with my resume that day.
I kept in touch with her throughout the months afterwards, and when she came to speak for at an induction ceremony for the school of business honor society, I made sure to make a presence and speak with her afterwards. Last summer, I was having issues solidifying an internship and she personally reached out to a few people on my behalf, which landed me two of the five different opportunities I gained that summer.
This post is a reminder that you never know how something so small, such as an e-board position, can lead to something much greater, such as making a great connection with a professional. Great things in life happen when you least expect it.
*If you’re reading this, Tracy–thank you!!
Author: Lauren Taylar
Lauren Taylar is a digital marketer by day and blogger by night. She is a recent graduate of the State University of New York at Oswego, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in public relations.