This is a guest post by Javaad Beg for Student Stories.
Networking is one of the most useful skills I have learned while being in college.
While this is not something you learn in the classroom, when you put the effort to get out of your comfort zone and meet new people, you will be amazed at what you can accomplish and learn.
While this is internship season, I want to share how I have gotten past internships at a startup, GoDaddy last summer, and Nordstrom’s Headquarters this coming summer by utilizing the skill of networking.
Be active on social media! Let me rephrase that a little bit…be professionally active on social media! I have used Twitter and Linkedin tremendously to meet new people I am interested in. I’m very interested in social media & digital marketing. With this, I follow some very interesting people in the industry, both locally and globally. I stay up-to-date with the latest trends that these intelligent folks post, as well as show to them that I am interested by interacting with them. Whether that’s a favorite or a comment, it shows that I care and that I am also in the same industry as them.
Ask to Meet.
As mentioned above, I am ecstatic to be interning at Nordstrom’s Headquarters this summer doing Online/Social Marketing. During the time leading up to this application, I was very nervous knowing that this was a very competitive position, as are many internships these days. I found some folks on LinkedIn who worked in the industry I wanted to be in at Nordstrom and reached out, simply stating that I’m a college student planning on applying for the internship and if they have any advice for me. After this, I found someone who previously interned at Nordstrom and is employed there now. I asked her if she’d be willing to get some coffee to tell me about her intern experience and this led to a very stimulating and informative conversation.
The key to my networking has been to network without expecting anything other than information in return. People like to talk about themselves, so why not learn from what they have to say? There’s people out there who are doing what you are trying to achieve, reach out to them and go land your next gig. Good luck!
About the Author:
Javaad is a junior studying marketing at the University of Washington. He is passionate about startups, tech, and all things social. Tweet him — @javaadbeg