Connecting students looking to make a difference with organizations looking for difference-makers. www.thoughtbasin.com
In order to get out there and really look for your first internship, or entry-level job, you have to really reach out and network. It sounds like a cliche, but the reality is that every chance counts when it comes to reaching people who will hire you.
Here is some career advice we can offer you from ThoughtBasin in order to help you do that. We’ve been put in the position where we’ve had to build a great network to keep the concept alive, and to validate it, and we’ve had to reach out to countless people as a result, so we’ve been through it quite a bit. We hope this helps you with your career path, and it really helps you land that internship or entry-level job!
1-Don’t be shy
You can’t lose any chance you have to introduce yourself. Be bold and comfortable with who you are, and what your skills are, and make sure as many people in the room as possible know about how great you are. Up to 80% of job postings are unlisted according to the Wall Street Journal, so you’re really missing out if you don’t take advantage of all of your chances.
At ThoughtBasin, our co-founders have cold emailed and cold called so many people that we’ve lost count. We may have lost out on quite a few, but we were able to reach really cool people just by trying. It’s a cliche, but you really do miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. We’ve emailed and tweeted people like Dave McClure, and the managers of some of the largest venture funds in the world, and they’ve retweeted us back, and gotten back to us. It may not happen all the time, but every chance we took to put ourselves out there was one we wouldn’t have had before.
2-It’s not just about the company reps
People often forget that in networking sessions, there are plenty of people around you other than the company representatives. Connect with your fellow students, who are doing awesome things as well! You never know who might have good advice for your next internship.
Our co-founders met a bunch of fellow students in events that were not only genuinely good people, but were also the heads of student associations that helped us get messages out there. We wouldn’t have met them at all, if we hadn’t tried to connect with everybody in the room.
3-Get involved on campus
Get involved in campus events and clubs so you’re aware of events, and have a great place at cool opportunities.
One of our co-founders coordinated a sports conference on campus, which put him in touch with a major sports media channel (TSN), and top figures in the sports world. By being part of this, he was able to meet a bunch of cool contacts, and was able to get himself involved in the sports world if he wanted to.
4-Be involved with great causes outside of campus
Networking isn’t just about stepping into a room preordained for you to communicate with a bunch of people. If you affiliate yourself with great causes, and build great things within school and outside of it, you’ll naturally be in contact with a host of great people, who will introduce you to other people.
At ThoughtBasin, we’ve had people deeply involved in non-for-profit causes. Not only is it a great way to do good, it’s also a good way of connecting with people who want to do good as well. We’ve had people hired by foundations, and people who have worked with non-for-profit figures on great projects. One of our co-founders heard Jordan Banks, managing director of Facebook Canada, say that he only connects with people by working with them on great causes rather than by stuffing himself in a room with them. It makes a whole lot of sense when you look at it that way.
Never forget that as much as networking is about projecting who you want to be, it’s also about who you are right now. Don’t be afraid to be genuine, and show why everybody needs to hire you. Work on building great things, having a great attitude, and working with great people, and you should be someone everybody wants to talk with—and ultimately, hire.
We hope that career advice helps! http://www.thoughtbasin.com will soon be launching to give you the opportunity to reach out to people and build out your networks for that first coveted internship or entry-level job. We look forward to seeing you there.
What are your experiences with networking?