Steps to Networking Success (and finding a job or internship)

Find out more about Gettysburg College students' networking success, including Communications intern Emily Kleinburd '13 who authored this article.

You are looking for your first job or internship and the competition is stiff. There are hundreds, maybe thousands, of applicants applying for only a few positions. You don't know anyone who works in the industry you want to work in, and everyone else seems to have a connection. But, remember this: as a Gettysburg College student, you have those connections too. They are just waiting to be discovered and utilized through active networking with college alumni, parents, friends, and others.

Networking is a priceless skill in today's tough economy that could be the key to landing a dream job. “One piece of advice is to talk as often as possible about your plans to as many people as you can,” said Katy Mattson, associate director of career planning in the Center for Career Development. “You never know who might know someone who could be helpful in your search.”

This advice is something I can personally attest to. By mentioning to a friend that I was interested in public relations, she connected me with her cousin who worked at a top public relations firm in New York City. This was the connection that got me an internship working for Converse's public relations department the summer before my junior year. That same summer, I continued to expand my network by doing an externship with alum David Zapata '94, the President and Founder of Zapwater Communications, Inc., a premier boutique public relations firm in Chicago. This experience, set up by the Center for Career Development, allowed me to build a solid relationship with the company. I was hired as their full-time intern next summer.

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